There is a very good reason why Australian and New Zealand breeders are taking a great interest in South Africa’s Ready To Run Sales The 2011 auction just held comfortably exceeded its predecessors in both averages and turnover, and may well have set an international standard that is going to make the rest of the world “take a hard look at our model.” So says Gavelhouse South Africa’s director David Mickleburgh.
“First of all, the lavish marketing programme, spearheaded by Mick Goss of Summerhill was brilliantly conceived and executed at a level of intensity not seen elsewhere, and reinforced by a sponsor, Emperor’s Palace, who did not hold back in exploiting the occasion and venue to its fullest extent resulting in a branding exercise that others will do well to follow,” he commented.
“Ready to Run sales elsewhere, and in the Antipodes particularly, are generally indifferent affairs and none have developed the level of excellence or respect of the Emperor’s Palace exercise”
But it is in the trading results and quality of stock that is causing others to take notice, Mickleburgh suggests.
“Our Ready-to Run has now entrenched itself as the happy hunting ground for skilled South African pinhookers to ply their trade internationally, buying weanlings in Australia and New Zealand and even South America, raising them till two year olds in this country and on-selling highly profitably at the Emperor’s Palace Ready to Run”
“In fact, this year’s sale was dominated at the upper price levels by well bred two-year-olds imported as weanlings which accounted for about 10% of the catalogue but about 25% of the R31 000 000. Aggregate which in itself was well above last year’s R23 685 000. The strong marketing backed by the impressive quality level of the imports, ensured that the average of R189 000, was an increase of nearly 20%, “quite extraordinary in this tough economy”.
Virtually all the top prices were achieved by quality imports, points out Mickleburgh.
Sales topper was a Royal Academy colt knocked down for R1.5 million to Form Bloodstock. The unnamed colt is out of Machiavelian’s granddaughter Dubai’s Fairy consigned by Summerhill's Mick Goss who understandably enjoyed the lion’s share of business. Another lot to make R1 million was No. 180, also a Rock of Gibraltar colt consigned by Summerhill and also purchased by Form Bloodstock The top nine prices were all for imported stock They included an interesting South American import consigned by Nicola Coppez’s Balmoral Pre–training farm representing a mix of USA and Brazilian blood, Knocked down for R400 000 to Fred Crabbia, the colt was sired by Breeders Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup out of a well-performed Brazilian mare Allysa.
Highest priced filly was lot 71, a daughter of El Prado. Consigned by Summerhill Sales, the grey filly was bought by Anfield Sports for R900 000. The excellent prices achieved by the large number of pinhooked fillies indicated that the speculators had recognized the continual demand by SA breeders for well-related females with stud potential.
As pleased as anyone else over the results was the TBA who are experiencing some stiff competition from Cape-based sales companies which enjoy an advantage due to the expense and logistical challenges governing the movement of horses in South Africa.