EXCITING TIMES AHEAD FOR CAPE OWNER-BREEDER
Peter de Beyer is one of the Cape’s racing and breeding greatest supporters and is involved in the sport both as an owner, and, more recently, as a commercial breeder.
Peter, whose father and uncles were all interested in racing, has owned some tremendous horses over the years, with his fillies having done particularly well. Arguably the best horse he has had anything to do with, was the wonderful filly Princess Victoria, who recently gave birth to her first foal – a Silvano filly.
Peter took a share in Princess Victoria after trainer Glen Kotzen selected her at the 2010 National Sale.
The daughter of Victory Moon went on to become one of the most popular racemares of recent times and was named an Equus Champion at both two and three. “The Princess”, as she was known to her legions of fans, was also a great bargain – she cost R325 000 at the 2010 National Yearling Sale, and went on to earn over R2.1 million. Bred by Maine Chance Farms, Princess Victoria won 10 races, with her Grade 1 wins including a score in the 2011 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas. She also ran third to the mighty Variety Club in the Gr1 Cape Premier Yearling Sales Guineas, defeating the top class colts Gimmethegreenlight and Heavy Metal in the process.
As good as Princess Victoria is, her part owner admits to also having a soft spot for former star Lady Windermere. The latter gave Peter his first success in a graded stakes race when winning the 2008 Gr2 Tony Taberer Southern Cross Stakes. The daughter of Western Winter was subsequently named Equus Champion 3yo filly following her successes in both the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint and Gr1 Garden Province Stakes.
Peter is also involved with exciting young stallion Elusive Fort, whose first small crop of runners, now 3, have been setting the South African tracks alight.
A former Equus Champion and multiple Gr1 winner, the Klipdrif Stud based Elusive Fort earned over R2 000 000 on the track, and he is living up to his pedigree and superb race record at stud. Well regarded by all who have seen them, Elusive Fort is throwing athletic stock very much in the mould of their sire. The champion has made a superb start to his stud career, with his first crop including the top class fillies Elusive Stars and Siren’s Call, and he covered a full book of top class mares in 2014.
Another nice sort by Elusive Fort is recent juvenile winner Ernie (also bred by Peter), who looks set to line up in the prestigious Listed Juvenile Stakes on Met day. To date, Elusive Fort’s first crop have produced eight winners, with a number of highly regarded sophomores still in the wings.
Peter, in fact, both bred and owns Siren’s Call, the winner of her first two outings and subsequently second to champion Majmu in the Gr3 Starling Stakes and fourth in the Gr2 Investec Dingaans. The Sean Tarry trained filly is being aimed towards a tilt at the 2015 Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara and looks to be among the leaders of her generation.
Siren’s Call’s owner-breeder has enjoyed a good patch of success as a breeder of late, with recent De Beyer bred winners including the facile maiden winner Cellarmaster, and the very promising 3yo Forest Fox. A son of Dupont, Forest Fox made it two wins on the trot when scoring in a facile fashion, and the colt is regarded by a potential classic contender by his connections.
However, one of Peter’s favourite horses is the game Blarney Bay, who while hardly sporting a fashionable pedigree, is one of Cape Town’s most consistent and gutsy performers. A son of Nysaean, Blarney Bay (who competed in the recent Gr2 Cape Merchants) was bred by Peter in partnership with Gill Dempsey, and, to date, has won six races and earned over R380 000 in stakes.
Peter was also a part owner in classic winner Field Flower – when that Silvano filly caused a massive 50-1 upset to win the 2009 Gr1Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas. A really well bred mare (she is from the same family as US Horse Of The Year and eight times champion sire Bold Ruler), Field Flower has been given every chance to succeed at stud.
Her early foals include an unraced 2yo Captain Al colt named Mighty Hash (who is in training with Cape conditioner Greg Ennion), as well as a yearling Western Winter colt (Last Winter). The daughter of Silvano has a filly (who Peter describes as lovely) foal by Var and is back in foal to Avontuur’s speed king.
Another classy stakes winner Peter raced was Golden Dawn, and the former Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes winner (by Goldmark from the Party Time family –and closely related to champion Trademark) has recently tested safely in foal to Varsfontein Stud’s Jet Master son Master Of My Fate.
Peter’s very first winner came with the first horse he bought back in 1996. Named El Supremo, she not only gave her owner his first win – but also became the dam of Peter’s first home bred to win, Ton Up.
He believes strongly that a trainer needs to have the ability to select reasonably priced yearlings, and they need to train and place that horse as its individual needs dictate.
Peter, who kept his mares at Normandy and Arc-En-Ciel when starting out in the breeding game, currently has a small farm in Robertson. Managed by Jane Grey, the mares moved onto the farm back in 2011, and currently are 22 in total. Peter does have another five broodmares, which are boarded elsewhere, and he has also kept his 25% share in Princess Victoria, whom he owns in partnership with Maine Chance Farms. The majority of the mares that Peter owns were bought as yearlings, but he has patronised the odd mare sale in the past. Among the mares Peter has on his farm are the de Beyer raced Knysa Lagoon, Victorine and Waterfall, and he is hoping to develop his own families from these young matrons.
He has shares in a number of proven and promising sires, with Peter involved in all of Dynasty, the above mentioned Elusive Fort, Horse Chestnut, Marchfield, Master Of My Fate, and What A Winter.