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Bloodstock South Africa’s (BSA) Yearling Selectors Alistair Gordon and Jane Thomas recently completed their three week tour of South Africa’s stud farms and the number of lots on this year’s BSA National Yearling Sale to be held on the 28th and 29th of April has been narrowed down to about 450.

Gordon said, “We try to pick the right horses for the Sale and don’t start with a set number of lots in mind.”

There were about 580 entries for the National Yearling Sale.

The selectors advise breeders not to take their yearlings if they believe they are too immature or have conformational defects or do not have good enough pedigrees.

However, that advice is effectively an elimination.

Therefore the catalogue always consists of the cream of the crop.

Gordon believes this year’s catalogue will be the strongest for a long time.

There are many points of attraction for buyers.

Firstly, this is the last yearling crop of the five-times Champion Sire Silvano.

Gordon said there would be about 20 Silvano’s on the Sale and added his progeny were always of a high quality year after year.

He expected his fillies to be particularly sought after as breeders would like to have Silvano blood on their farms.

The late Avontuur Stud stalwart Var also has his last crop at the Sales this year.

The late Drakenstein Stud stallion Duke Of Marmalade, sire of Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara hopeful Rain In Holland, only has a couple of crops still to sell so will likely be in demand too. 

His stablemate Trippi is getting on in age too and had the second highest National Yearling Sale average behind the last full crop of Dynasty last year.  

Gordon said with the like of Jet Master, Captain Al and Dynasty’s progeny no longer at the Sales, Silvano and Var having their last crop and the like of Duke Of Marmalade nearing the end of the road, buyers would be looking to the young sires and the new season sires.

He spoke about three sires with first season crops.

He said, “There were some every nice yearlings by the first crop stallions, including from the unfortunately deceased Drakenstein Stud sire Lancaster Bomber.”

Lancaster Bomber was by War Front (Danzig), who was the most expensive sire in the world in 2019 and is currently still among the most expensive. He has also realised some of the highest prices in the world in recent years at yearling sales.

Gordon continued, “The Wilgerbosdrift Stud first crop sire Fire Away is also a son of War Front and has some very nice yearlings. He was well supported and received good mares.”

Gordon added, “The Mauritzfontein first crop sire Danon Platina is a stallion with a big future. We are very fortunate to have a son of Deep Impact in the country considering Japan won five of the Group races at the Dubai World Cup meeting, including two Group 1s, and just about every one of them was connected to Deep Impact in some way.”

Of the young sires with runners on the ground Gordon singled out the Maine Chance Farms sire Erupt (Dubawi).

He said, “He won two Group 1s over a mile- and-four-furlongs but already has an unbeaten Group 3 and Listed-winning two-year-old (Karangetang), so has a bright future considering they will need further.”

He said the like of Gimmethegreenlight, Vercingetorix and Master Of My Fate, among the established sires with time on their side, were showing themselves to be more than capable of taking over the mantle of the recent champions.