JUST four days after his star performer Variety Club was voted Equus Horse Of The Year for the 2011-12 racing season trainer Joey Ramsden was in the limelight again when securing the top-priced lot at the Emperors Palace National Two-Year-Old Sale in Germiston on Sunday.
Ramsden bid R650,000 for an American-bred filly by Tapit whose progeny won three Breeders’ Cup races last year. It was always on the cards that there’d be plenty of interest in the Highlands Farm-consigned filly whose grand dam Family Enterprize won seven races in the USA including the G1 Spinaway Stakes.
Ramsden had opposition from owner Laurence Wernars but had the final say and the consensus of opinion was that he may have secured a bargain. The filly, named Gin Rummy, was sold by auctioneer Graeme Hawkins who commented after the sale: “I thought she was a particularly attractive filly and – to be honest – I expected her to make more.’’
The sale reached an aggregate of R20,02 million, with an average of R70,000 per foal sold, marginally down on the 2011 turnover.
“We’re happy that there was a positive mood (about the sale),’’ commented BloodStock SA CEO Tom Callaghan. “There was a nice atmosphere and the right horses got the right money.’’
One of those horses was secured during the first session with auctioneer Andrew Miller taking a bid of R500,000 for Dynasty colt Kono. The two-year-old consigned by Sandown Stud was purchased by Glen Kotzen Racing and the Cape trainer will be hoping he turns out to be as good as his Vodacom Durban July winner Big City Life.
The colt is only the third produce of unraced mare Magnificent Maggie and he is a half-brother to winners Carlito Brigante and Donnie Brasco.
Scott Bros has produced some top-class performers in recent years such as The Apache and Eton Square and five lots after Kono’s sale the stud introduced an attractive colt by increasingly popular sire Miesquie’s Approval. Only the fifth produce of New Zealand mare Markanawa, the colt, named Galactic, was knocked down to owner Wernars for R300,000.
The colt is a half-brother to three-time winner Markofdistinction and another of the dam’s progeny, Ironcat, has won six races in Australia.
Gary Player’s stud sent a large draft to the sale and SA’s best-loved sportsman was in attendance yesterday to see his two year-olds go through the ring. Towards the end of the first session the Colesburg stud offered a Captain Al colt and he got the attention of a number of bidders with Mr S Armstrong signing for the colt at R180,000.
Sean Tarry, who finished second on last season’s trainers’ log, will be taking home a well-bred son of Eclipse Stakes winner Mount Nelson who raced for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien. The colt, named Woodstock Express, was consigned by Maine Chance Farms and a bid of R350,000 secured the two year-old.
Former champion jockey Basil Marcus is building up a new string following an unsuccessful stint in Singapore and his name was on the buyers’ list along with one of his great jockey rivals Muis Roberts. Amongst Marcus’ purchases was a colt by Overlord, purchased from Southford Stud for R90,000.
Dr Marianne Thomson’s Ambiance Stud sent a draft of seven two-year-olds to the sale and owner Tony Zackey had to go to R240,000 to take home a Tiger Ridge colt out of Irish mare Twang. This juvenile hails from a strong French family and may have been well bought at this price.