With recent alumni including the likes of G1 World Sports Betting SA Derby winner Aragosta, this season’s G2 Senor Santa Stakes winner Smorgasbord, and 2019-2020 Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding, Mauritzfontein continues to enjoy great success at the highest level in the thoroughbred industry.
The farm has a long and impressive history, and has churned out stars of the turf for decades.
Having operated previously as a remount station for the British Army during the Boer War, Mauritzfontein was bought by Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer in 1945. The couple became involved in horse racing shortly after the war, in the 1940s.
Kimberley was headquarters of the De Beers Mining Company, of which Harry Oppenheimer was Chairman, and he held a seat in Parliament from 1948-1957. Mauritzfontein is only 15 minutes from the centre of Kimberley, so it seemed the perfect place to build their home from home and begin their breeding operations.
Since its establishment, Mauritzfontein has become one of the great thoroughbred nurseries in South Africa, with early top stallions including the likes of Janus, Wilwyn and Free Ride.
The farm also owes a great deal of its success to the late champion sire Fort Wood, with that G1 winning son of Sadler’s Wells sire of numerous top-class performers headed by the Mauritzfontein bred and raced Horse Of The Year Horse Chestnut.
The latter was one of the greatest horses ever to grace a racecourse in South Africa, with Horse Chestnut, who also features as the broodmare sire of the Mauritzfontein champion Smart Call, not only winning the 1999 South African Triple Crown in brilliant fashion but also landing the 1999 J&B Met by a staggering eight lengths! He would go on to win in his only outing in North America, the 2000 G3 Broward Handicap, before an unfortunate injury forced his retirement to stud.
Mauritzfontein has produced no fewer than 14 Oaks winners, 7 Durban July winners and most impressively a Triple Crown and a Triple Tiara winner. With the expert management team now lead by Mike Sharkey, Nigel and Gail Page, Mauritzfontein is doing everything in its power to ensure they go from strength to strength.
The farm currently breed in partnership with Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift, and this combination has proved a formidable one indeed in recent times.
Mauritzfontein, home to successful stallion Ideal World and the exciting G1 winning young sires Danon Platina and new arrival Digital Age, will be offering a superb draft at the 2022 National Yearling Sale.
This consignment includes yearlings from the first crop of resident stallion, and former Japanese champion Danon Platina, as well as lots by such established and popular sires Gimmethegreenlight, Ideal World, Querari, Rafeef Silvano, Twice Over and the sensational Vercingetorix.
Potential standouts in this draft include a Danon Platina half-brother (Lot 59) to triple graded stakes winner Barahin, a Rafeef half-brother (Lot 268) to East Cape stars Kimberley Star and World Radar, a Silvano colt (Lot 381) out of G3 Three Troikas Stakes winner Fish River, a Silvano filly (Lot 388) out of Trippi’s top-class daughter Franny, and a regally bred Gimmethegreenlight half-brother (Lot 435) to champion Celtic Sea.
The latter, Equus Champion 3YO Filly in 2018-2019 and Equus Champion Older Filly/Mare the following season, was herself a graduate of the 2017 National Yearling Sale -and history could well be repeated this year!
This impressive draft can be viewed in Blocks F and H at the TBA complex in the week leading up to this year’s National Sale.