FORMER Champion Breeder Mick Goss of Summerhill Stud, who controversially withdrew his support of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale this week, says that his allegiance to BloodStock SA’s National Yearling Sale scheduled for 22-25 April 2015, has not changed. While Goss has moved the 2014 Summerhill R2R draft to the new CTS Ready To Run Sale, he remains committed to supporting the BSA’s annual flagship sale.
In an interview with Racing South Africa, Goss suggested that his misgivings resulted from agreements over certain Ready To Run sale conditions made with the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) which had not been honoured.
He said: ““I feel that the number of lots on the sale should be restricted to no more than 200, bearing in mind that the rich sales race attached to it is limited to just 16 runners. Last year’s catalogue was increased to almost 250 and this year’s total came to 230. Therefore, the more horses entered for the sale, the less attractive it becomes to the buyer.”
Goss was adamant that it had been agreed between himself, the TBA and sponsor Emperors Palace that the 2014 catalogue would be limited to 200 lots and that the levy for buyers would increase from R7500 to R10,000.
“When I objected to this year’s number of entries and levy, the reaction from the TBA was that these would only be discussed again after the sale. Ironically, Summerhill’s withdrawal means the number of lots has fallen under 200 and the buyer’s levy of R10,000 is now at my recommended level!
“In addition, as Summerhill depends entirely on the thoroughbred business, CTS’s guarantee of payment to vendors within 31 days was another factor I had to consider.”
Another bone of contention has been the status of the sales race. Restricted sales races do not qualify for black type and the stakes are not included in Jockey Club statistics. Goss’s recommendation that “buy-ins” be introduced for horses not sold at the RTR Sale, thereby making the race an open one, was refused.
In response BSA’s Chairperson, Susan Rowett, says that Summerhill horses had only constituted 55% of the lots on the Ready To Run sale and that the interests of all of the stakeholders concerned had to be taken into account before decisions were made. She was not surprised by the attraction of CTS’s guaranteed payment to vendors, but added that in an industry that virtually had a culture of non-payment, the costs to the company can quickly compound.
Meanwhile Adrian Todd, Chief Operating Officer of CTS, says that that the exact dates, times and venues for his company’s respective November and April sales were still being decided upon.
The TBA has in reality lost someone they couldn’t afford to lose.