AFTER delays due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the 2020 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sales will finally take place at the TBA complex in Germiston on Friday and Saturday.
He is by Silvano out of that brilliant broodmare, Halfway To Heaven, and is a full brother to Hawwaam, and a half-brother to Rainbow Bridge and Golden Ducat – all Grade 1 winners.
“Celestial City is definitely the eye-catching horse of the sale,” Jehan Malherbe, bloodstock agent for Wilgerbosdrift, told Danie Toerien of TAB News.
“Under normal circumstances, so would the expectation of the selling price. But with racing already under the cosh before the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen at the sale.
“Everyone’s going to have to rethink and recalibrate their value systems for this sale,” said Malherbe. “There’s no doubt that the state of the market and the state of the nation is going to affect the sale.
“To put a number on his head … South African horses very seldom make more than R2 million or R3 million. But those are very much the exceptions.
“I know we had a R9 million last year, but that was highly exceptional circumstances because two people who weren’t at the sale had instructed their buyers to buy it at any cost, so it got out of hand.
“It was lucky for the vendor, but that’s not the norm. So, I would think Celestial City will make a few million, but I don’t think we’ll get anywhere near the records we’ve seen in the past.”
Although there have been a number of withdrawals, there is still a wide array of brilliant breeding on offer.
Long time leading vendor, the Ascot Stud, will once again be offering a high-class draft at this years Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
Not only will Ascot will be offering 15 yearlings by resident stallion, and South Africas red hot first crop sire, Global View, their draft also includes yearlings sired by such notable horses as Gimmethegreenlight, Silvano, Soft Falling Rain and Twice Over.
Global Views imposing draft includes a colt (Lot 9) out of a three-parts sister to champion sire Captain Al, a filly (Lot 29) whose G3 winning dam is a half-sister to the Ascot Stud bred Cape Guineas hero Elusive Gold, a colt (Lot 128) out of Brazilian G2 winner Energia Elegante, and a colt (Lot 143) out of G1 Allan Robertson Championship runner up Fairy Queen.
Other appealing yearlings in this draft sired by Global View include the colt (Lot 158) whose dam is a full-sister to the G3 winning dam of this seasons Triple Tiara heroine Summer Pudding, the half-sister (Lot 355) to talented Dubai based galloper Bold Rex, and the full-brother to recent debut winner Global Ash.
Perhaps the pick of Ascots Global View yearlings, however, this year is Coral Dawn (Lot 93), with this filly being a half-sister to G1 Premiers Champions Challenge winner Coral Fever, and out of a half-sister to SA Derby winning sire Ravishing.
Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm offer a well-balanced draft is made up of yearlings sired by all of Futura, Louis The King, Rafeef, Red Ray, Silvano, Soft Falling Rain, and What A Winter, as well as by Avontuur’s inform resident stallions Oratorio and Var.
Oratorio, whose flag bearers this season include the graded stakes winners Capoeira, Divine Odyssey, Mardi Gras and Snapscan, has three lots in this draft, with the regally bred Ovation (Lot 276) a possible standout. A full-brother to the Hong Kong based G3 Godolphin Barb Stakes winner Cue The Music, Ovation is a half-brother to Equus Champion, and triple G1 winner, Val De Ra and three other stakes winners.
The sire is also responsible for a half-sister to the stakes placed Top Of The Class in the form of Gifted Gal (Lot 3), while State Your Case (Lot 264) is an Oratorio colt (bred on the same cross as multiple graded stakes winner Divine Odyssey) whose dam is a winning own sister to Horse Of The Year Legislate.
Sardinia (Lot 311) is the only Dynasty filly in this draft, and she is out of a 3 time winning half-sister to dual Guineas winner Noordhoek Flyer and to the dam of G3 Three Troikas Stakes winner Mount Laurel.