All sys­tems go for a suc­cess­ful Cape Year­ling Sale

The Citizen (KZN) - - Racing Express - Jack Mil­ner

The year­lings have ar­rived at the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, po­ten­tial own­ers have flown from all over the world and it is all sys­tems go for to­mor­row’s Cape Premier Year­ling Sale (CPYS) the only event of this na­ture to take place in a city cen­tre.

But, as is the case ev­ery year be­fore a sale, ven­dors and or­gan­is­ers are keep­ing their fin­gers crossed, hop­ing all will go well.

“The rac­ing in­dus­try and the South African econ­omy as a whole have been through some tor­rid times,” said CTS chief ex­ec­u­tive Wéhann Smith.

“But de­spite that the sales have held up pretty well over the last num­ber of years and I’m quite pos­i­tive about this year.

“There are a good few new faces and I think the news about a pend­ing so­lu­tion in the ex­port side is firm enough for al­ready to make an im­pact on this sale.

“I think if all goes well with the ex­ports, I think it might be a lot more ex­pen­sive next year to buy a year­ling than it is cur­rently, and I think there are peo­ple out there who will try to cap­i­tal­ize on it.”

The Euro­pean Union will be in South Africa later in the year to do an au­dit of the ex­port pro­to­cols and if all goes well – and most peo­ple feel that will be the case – it will be­come eas­ier to trans­port horses around the world.

Smith be­lieves the growth of this sale is hugely im­por­tant for South Africa as it has be­come part of the in­ter­na­tional sales ros­ter.

“Its tim­ing at the be­gin­ning of the year does not clash with any of the north­ern hemi­sphere sales or the Magic Mil­lion in Aus­tralia and the Karaka Sale in New Zealand and that really makes it pos­si­ble for their na­tion­als to come here and in­vest and while they in­crease ev­ery year, I’m really hop­ing those in­creases be­come ex­po­nen­tial as we open up to the rest of the world.”

There are 232 lots on the sale and Smith be­lieves a num­ber of them are very ex­cit­ing. The year­ling to at­tract the most at­ten­tion is Lot 174, a colt by Gim­methe­green­light out of Cupid, a half­brother to L’Or­marins Queen’s Plate win­ner Vardy.

Many train­ers have been en­chanted by his good looks, but most feel he will be priced out of their league.

“We also have a cou­ple of new sires ap­pear­ing in our cat­a­logue this year,” said Smith. “I stand sub­ject to cor­rec­tion, but I be­lieve Wil­liam Longsword and Red Ray are the first CPYS grad­u­ates who have off­spring sell­ing at CPYS.

“The talk is really pos­i­tive. We have a good num­ber of Wil­liam Longsword’s progeny on the sale and I’ve yet to come across some­body who doesn’t like them. First-sea­son sires have done ex­cep­tion­ally well at this sale, sires like What A Win­ter, Jack­son and Vercinge­torix, only to name a few.

“I’m quite hope­ful we’re go­ing to see some­thing sim­i­lar this year with the first sea­son sires. But what I feel happy about this year in terms of our cat­a­logue as a whole is that there is a good spread of sires.

“The next gen­er­a­tion of sires, in par­tic­u­lar, are well rep­re­sented here.”

The fact this is the only sale which is held in the cen­tre of a city and where ev­ery­thing is just stone’s throw away from one an­other is a huge sell­ing point, added Smith. “I was chat­ting to one of the in­ter­na­tional guys this morn­ing and he said it is so unique. I know they tried this in Lon­don, but it never came off.

“To be able to stay in a beau­ti­ful ho­tel that just across the door­way from the sale, you have all the restau­rants and the en­ter­tain­ment of the city cen­tre, the Water­front just around the cor­ner.

“We’re not only sell­ing the event but Cape Town as a des­ti­na­tion,” said Smith.

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