Skip to main content
Picture: The Gimmethegreenlight colt who fetched a South African record price for a two-year-old at a sale. (Candiese Lenferna).

A bidding war between Jehan Malherbe’s Form Bloodstock and prolific buyer Greg Bortz drove lot 91 to a price of R3.8 million at the Bloodstock South Africa (BSA) August Sale last week.

Alistair Gordon of BSA confirmed the price to be a new record for a two-year-old at a sale in South Africa.

Gordon added, “He was a nice horse. We didn’t really expect him to go for that amount, but when two people want a horse that is what can happen.”

Form Bloodstock won the battle.

The price rose relatively slowly from an opening bid of R100,000 to R625,000 and hesitated on that amount, but the bidding then became quick. The price rose rapidly to R3.8 million as an enthralled audience watched on. The auctioneer was Angus Williamson, who was doing his first BSA Sale.

“Yes We Can” is the name of the horse, and likely refers to a slogan coined by President Barrack Obama which was made into a song by The Black Eyed Peas frontman The idea for the name was undoubtedly derived from Gimmethegeenlight’s dam called Yes She Can CanCan (Canny Lad). 

Gordon continued, “It was another incredible Sale. The quality at the sales has been very good throughout the year. There is a bit of a shortage of horses and it has been a battle for some to buy because the prices are high. But it is amazing that the prices are being maintained at such a high level. They keep on breaking records.”

The statistics comparing this year’s BSA August Sale to last year’s say it all.
Last year, 316 horses were catalogued, 280 were sold, 17 withdrawn and 19 not sold, there were zero buy-backs, the aggregate was R39,640,000, the average was R141,571, the median was R90,000 and the highest price R1.2 million.
This year 275 horses were catalogued,222 were sold, 35 were withdrawn, 18 were not sold, there were zero buy-backs, the aggregate was R48,975,000, the average was R220,608, the median was R140,000 and the highest price R3.8 million.   
Lot 91 was a Wilgerbosdrift Stud-bred Gimmethegreenlight colt out of the Grade 3 Starling Stakes winner Sarasota (Kahal), who has had two runners to date and both of them have been winners.
Her Soft Falling Rain son Hope Is Power won by 3,75 lengths on debut over 1000m, albeit in a weak field, and next time out finished a well beaten third in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes, where he had some decent sorts behind him including RollWithThePunches. Hope Is Power has won one race since then.
Sarasota had earlier produced the Soft Falling Rain filly Florida Keys, who also won on debut. The Sean Tarry-trained filly was backed in to 19/10 for her first racecourse appearance over 1200m and won by half-a-length, although it was also in an uninspiring field. She won once more on the Highveld before being sent to the Eastern Cape where she is yet to place.