Article courtesy of the EBN: The stars aligned for consignor Varsfontein Stud at the inaugural Val De Vie Yearling Sale, the farm virtually hogging the top tier of the price list. The sale’s star turn, and the sole seven-figure lot on the one-day sale, came from the well-known nursery. Named Playboy Prince, the bay entered the sales ring as Lot 10 and was knocked down to bloodstock agent John Freeman [for owner Jack Mitchell], who stood firm as he fought off challenges from around the sales ring to secure the colt with a winning bid of R1.2-million. Over the past few years, Freeman has purchased most of Dynasty’s leading lights, the latest of which is this season’s Queen’s Plate and J&B Met hero Futura. This particular colt is the fifth foal out of the Stakes-placed Kiss And Fly (Jet Master), whose previous four winners include Gr.3 Protea Stakes runnerup Kiss Me Hardy (Captain Al). It is a solid Varsfontein family, with the colt’s third dam Pax Romana being a halfsister to the brilliant sprinter and successful sire Harry Hotspur.
Buyers weren’t shy to spend on the progeny of first season sire Gimmethegreenlight at last month’s CTS Premier Sale and it was more of the same this time round. The son of More Than Ready carried Hassan Adams’s silks to victory in the Gr.1 Queen’s Plate and he snapped up Varsfontein’s Hack Green (Lot 23) for R950,000, the sale’s second highest lot. Out of the Fort Wood mare Secret Mission, the colt’s appeal was quite evident; he is closely related to More Than Ready’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and young sire Pluck, whose dam Secret Heart is a full-sister to Secret Mission.
It was Gauteng owner Laurence Wernars who provided the early fireworks for Varsfontein when he bid R900,000 for the stud’s Doosra (Lot 4), a Captain Al full-brother to dual Mauritian Stakes winner Captain’s Knock. Out of Caughtintheslips, cricket lovers will agree that the bay is brilliantly named, in fact, the mare’s previous foals include Quick Single, Wicket Maiden and Caughtinthedeep. The cricket theme features strongly on the catalogue page, her full-sister Follow On having produced Mister Cricket, the ill-fated Gr.1 SA Classic runner-up, while her half-sister English Willow is the dam of the Gr.3-placed Jack Hobbs.
Trainer Glen Kotzen landed the second Trippi colt on the sale (Lot 18) at R725,000. Consigned by Varsfontein as agent, Gold Standard is a grandson of the Champion racemare Olympic Duel, who notched up seven Gr.1 wins, including the J&B Met. She transferred her racing excellence to the broodmare paddocks and became the dam of Gr.1 winner Flying Duel, while her Stakes-winning daughters Lightning Duel and Supreme Duel are both multiple Stakes producers. Gold Standard is out of her twice placed daughter Olympic Dam (Model Man), whose first foal is already a winner.
As expected, the top-priced yearlings all emerged from the select session but the sale’s priciest filly was sold from the non-select session, this a R500,000 daughter of Varsfontein’s Judpot out of Gr.1 winner Final Claim (Lot 57).