• The next generation of South Africa’s racing horses went under the gavel at the Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) Premier Yearling Sale.
  • One sold for R4 million.
  • An elite untrained racing horse cost an average of R430,000. 

Some 192 of South Africa’s elite bred yearlings, the next generation of racing horses, were sold at the Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) Premier Yearling Sale.

The total price tag was a whopping R83.13 million, an average R432,994 each.

Hosted in the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the entire venue was converted into a giant stable for a week.

Read also: Hundreds of SA’s premier racehorses to go on auction in Cape Town, R50,000 gets you a starting bid

This year’s top seller was an unnamed filly that sold for R4 million from the Klawervlei Stud farm located on the banks of the Breede River outside Bonnievale, Western Cape. She is the offspring of a top race winner sire Captain Al and dam Pagan Princess.

“She has an exceptional pedigree meaning she’s extremely well bred - she is a full sister to William Longsword, a champion racehorse that won at Group 1 race level. Added to that she is a very big filly with an eye-catching conformation and I’m sure the owners will be excited to see her racing,” said Wehann Smith, CEO of Cape Thoroughbred Sales.

Anothony Stroud of Stroud Coleman, a UK-based international bloodstock agency which has produced racing winners across the world, bought the horse. 

“As an investment the filly has great potential as a race horse in South Africa," says Stroud. And once she's retired, she'll probably be moved overseas, where she’ll have a fine breeding career, he added. In foreign currency, South African horses are relatively cheap.

Producing a champion takes a lot of luck as well as buyer’s intuition. Bloodstock managers look at pedigree, how the horse is built, as well as its personality.

According to Smith, it costs on average around R10,000 per month to train the horses and keep them in shape.  A race horse will reach its prime at the age of 4-5 years with careers typically lasting until they are 6, with some exceptions racing on to 10 years old. 

A good retirement or post-racing career is essential for horses, as they can live for as long as 30 years.

The top sale of R4 million was still not enough break the record sale of R6 million. 2018’s sales brought in R111 million from 221 yearlings selling at an average of R504,411.

Here were the top horses: 


5. Lot 152 Delta Queen, filly - R2 million

4. Lot 182 Summer Sizzler, colt - R2 million

3. Lot 49 Chestnut Bay, colt -  R2,2 million 

2. Lot 183 Dontworrybehappy, filly - R3,2 million

1. Lot 129 Unnamed, filly - R4 million

Lot 129 sold for R4 million. Photo Zukile Daniel


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