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Downturn hits South African Yearling Sale

THE South African bloodstock market was hit by the global recession for the first time at the Equimark Vintage Yearling Sale inCape Town on Sunday when prices fell across a broad front.

South Africa has so far avoided the worst of the credit crunch, and no bank has been in the slightest need of government support. Bloodstock prices remained strong with last month's Cape Yearling Sale posting a nine per cent increase in average, while last November's Ready-To-Run (breeze-up) Sale saw prices up by a third.

But that all changed on Sunday when the average for the 201 yearlings sold on Durbanville racecourse fell by 36 per cent to R87,681 (€6,799/£6,290), the lowest level since 2004. The R17.6 million aggregate (€1.3 million / £1.2 million) was down by 38 per cent.

Top price wasR800,000 (€62,000/£57,389) paid by Johannesburg trainer Dominic Zaki for Locked On Target, a brother by champion sire Jet Master to Mythical Flight, a champion sprinter two seasons ago.

Zaki said: "I bought the colt for one existing client and two new ones. But I would not have gone any higher - I'd reached my top limit."

The next test for South African bloodstock comes at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale in Johannesburg on April 3,5 and 6 when 596 of the country's best yearlings come under the hammer.

 

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