One of South Africa’s leading thoroughbred nurseries, Varsfontein Stud, will be hoping for more sales ring success at the upcoming National Yearling Sale.
Varsfontein also pulled off a notable feat when the Varsfontein consigned Vasco Da Gama was sold for R4 400 000 at the 2019 National Sale. Subsequently renamed Malmoos, the striking Captain Al colt went on to capture the 2021 World Sports Betting Triple Crown before retiring to Ridgemont Highlands earlier this year.
Other notable National Sales ring successes for Varsfontein include Track Attack (sold for R5 200 000), Only One Like You (sold for R3 600 000) and Var Goddess (sold for R5 000 000). The latter filly, top priced yearling sold at the 2017 National Yearling Sale, was later renamed Ghaalla, and subsequently went on to win the 2018 G3 Fillies Mile.
The farm was established by Anthony Kalmanson in 1974.An enthusiastic owner and amateur rider, Tony rode in races in England, South Africa and Rhodesia and became a leading buyer at the National Yearling Sales.
Anthony’s top racehorses included Attila, Top Brass and the fillies Indira (Paddock Stakes), Kendal Green (Fillies Guineas) and Singing Winds (Clairwood Free Handicap). With his top fillies retiring to stud, Tony bought Varsfontein – a wine farm near Paarl, and his friend and riding adversary Hennie de Jager became the manager.
Remarkably, the very first yearling sold by Varsfontein was the top-class galloper Kings Rhapsody. The latter won ten times including the G2 (subsequently G1) Smirnoff Plate and G2 Merchants Stakes.
The farm is currently owned by Susan Rowett and her twin brother John, and is most ably run by Carl De Vos.
Stars produced by the farm include Jumpup and Kissme, Enchanting, This England, Marie Galante, Model School, Tickets and Tax, Duchess Daba and Promisefrommyheart. The latter in turn became an excellent producer with Promisefrommyheart’s offspring headed by now successful Varsfontein sire Master Of My Fate as well as the stakes winning dam of the aforementioned Malmoos. (Promisefrommyheart also ranks as the third dam of this season’s top-class two-year-old Karangetang).
Varsfontein currently sports a top-class roster of stallions, which is headed by reigning champion South African sire Gimmethegreenlight, and the Varsfontein bred close relatives Erik The Red and Master Of My Fate.
Varsfontein Stud will be offering another outstanding draft at this year’s National Sale, with their yearlings hailing from some of the best families in the South African stud book. Top sires represented in this string include Gimmethegreenlight, Master Of My Fate, Querari Silvano, Vercingetorix and What A Winter.
While this string includes many potential standouts, a few of the potential top lots include the Vercingetorix filly (Lot 109) out of G3 winner Princess Peach, the Silvano colt (Lot 226) out of Jet Master’s stakes winning daughter Touch The Sky, the Gimmethegreenlight half-brother (Lot 227) to G1 Gold Medallion victor Eden Roc, and the Gimmethegreenlight half-brother (Lot 378) to graded stakes winners Due Diligence and Ghaalla.
This imposing string can be found in Blocks B and C at the TBA Complex in Germiston.