The Armitage’s Sandown Stud made headlines at the 2021 November Two Year Old Sale, when the Cape farm led the Leading Vendors List at that auction. Sandown consigned 11 two-year-olds, ten of whom sold for a gross total of R2.105 million.

Top priced of the Sandown Stud consigned  two-year-olds at the November Sale was the Elusive Fort filly Royal Invitation (Lot 148) who was knocked down to Rathmor Stud for R575 000.

The Armitage family has been involved in horse-racing since Jim Armitage was established Rathvale Stud just outside Standerton in the Eastern Transvaal in 1935. He had two sons, Geoff (father of James), followed 14 years later by the late Trevor Armitage.

Geoff Armitage moved to Rhodesia in 1972 and started farming about an hour’s drive from Salisbury. With four mares from Standerton, he founded Sandown Stud. Remarkably, Sandown Stud was Zimbabwe’s Leading Breeder for 24 years, but Geoff elected to move the farm’s star stallion Goldkeeper to the Cheveley Stud as well as a small band of mares to Daytona Stud.

His son James, and James’ wife Joy, moved to South Africa in 2006, bringing 14 mares with them in the process. James and Joy initially settled on a portion of Daytona Stud, before making a home for themselves at their current location just outside Stellenbosch.

Among the numerous high-class performers bred at Sandown Stud in its current location are champions French Navy and Magnificent Seven, with James becoming the third generation of Armitage to breed a G1 winner when French Navy stormed home to win the 2015 G1 SA Classic.

Sandown Stud currently stands Irish champion and proven sire Pathfork and former Equus Champion, and triple G1 winner, Soqrat.

The farm will be offering a very well bred draft at the 2022 National Yearling Sale, with Sandown’s National string made up of yearlings sired by all of  Captain Of All, Flower Alley, Gimmethegreenlight, Rafeef, Silvano and What A Winter.

Sandown will also be offering a Flower Alley colt (Lot 107) on behalf of Beaumont Stud, and will also be offering yearlings by Gimmethegreenlight, Rafeef, Silvano and What A Winter on behalf of Shadwell SA.

Potential standouts in this consignment include a Rafeef colt (Lot 62) out of a half-sister to G1 performer Alyaasaat, a Silvano colt (Lot 163) out of G1 SA Nursery runner up Shaama, a Flower Alley half-brother (Lot 184) to graded stakes winners Priceless Jewel and Royal Badge, and a Captain Of All half-sister (Lot 311) to G3 Final Fling Stakes winner Brave Move.

Sandown’s draft can be found in Blocks F and G at the TBA Complex in Germiston.