25 April 2019

The record for a top priced yearling sold in South Africa was smashed on the first day of trading at the 2019 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale on Wednesday. Consigned by Wilgerbosdrift, the regally bred Masaki (Lot 184) was the second last lot sold at Wednesday's session but the son of Maine Chance Farms champion sire Silvano proved the star turn of the day when knocked down for the staggering sum of R9 000 000.

In what proved a protracted bidding duel, Masaki was eventually knocked down to Mike de Kock, who purchased the colt on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum. (De Kock having had success for Sheikh Hamdan another son of Silvano, Hawwaam, this season.) The classically bred Masaki, a full-brother to G1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes winner Nightingale and to G2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks second Oriental Oak, is out of G3 Magnolia Handicap winner Quickwood - a full-sister to exported G1 SA Guineas winner Heir Apparent. His Fort Wood sired dam is also a three-parts sister to G1 SA Fillies Classic winner Athina.

Form Bloodstock signed for the top filly sold on Wednesday when purchasing a Dynasty filly named Kim Soo (Lot 98) for R4 300 000. Consigned by Drakenstein Stud, Kim Soo is out of the top class Dubawi mare Happy Archer, whose seven wins included both the G1 Thekwini and G1 Garden Province Stakes.

No fewer than 17 yearlings fetched R1 000 000 plus on first day, which was also the first part of the first session of the 2019 National Yearling Sale. Wednesday's sale, also, proved the importance of foreign investors in the local thoroughbred industry, with overseas buyers accounting for more than 30% of the day's turnover. The sale got off to a shaky start, however, when four of the first six lots offered failed to make their reserve, but enjoyed a resurgence later on and that momentum was felt at the sale's close.

The aggregate was down after the first day from R77 420 000 to R73 855 000, but 25 horses failed to sell this year, as opposed to 27 in 2018. Both the average and median prices dropped, with the average dropping from R545 211 to R535 181 and the median falling from R325 000 to R250 000.

BSA's Gary Grant was quick to acknowledge the importance of international interest in the South Africa racing industry, saying, "It is important to acknowledge the role that the Maktoum family have played in allowing the South African thoroughbred industry to showcase their product on the international stage. The tremendous support given by the Eastern market was also notable and much appreciated at Wednesday's sale."

A full list of prices for Wednesday's session can be viewed online at, with the second day of the National Sale scheduled to get underway at 11:30 on Thursday.