Avontuur Estate is happy to announce the delivery this morning of a healthy, strong filly by one of the world’s top-ranked race horses and super star sire Frankel, out of Avontuur owned mare and SA champion sprint filly, Val de Ra.
Val de Ra (Var x Minelli) had a blazing career in South Africa and was crowned the Equus Champion Sprinter for the 2010-11 season with her greatest moment arguably when she beat What A Winter in the 2012 Cape Flying Championship.
With her maternal instincts proven without any doubt after giving birth in the UK in 2013 to a strong filly by another of the world’s top sires, Oasis Dream, and after being covered by Frankel she took on the long trip home to SA with her first foal at foot earlier this year.
Settled in comfortably at the Drakenstein Quarantine Facility where she has to stay for another month till all the necessary tests have been done, the birth went well and GM Ross Fuller says the new-born is strong, flashy and well-balanced and both mom and baby are doing well.
Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh explained that words can’t describe the excitement at Avontuur this morning! “She was only due on the 26th but the little one clearly couldn’t wait. We are so grateful to the team at Drakenstein for looking after her so well and she has once again impressed everyone with her presence of mind, endurance – or good old “vasbyt” as it’s known in Afrikaans – and is looking well and happy! This is a historic moment for SA thoroughbred breeding and as it might be our one and only chance for a SA born Frankel foal, the moment is just huge for the team at Avontuur,” she commented.
Val De Ra won 11 of her 13 starts, including four Group Ones: the 2011 Computaform Sprint, the SA Fillies (twice in consecutive years 2010 and 2011) and the Cape Flying Championships. In total she earned approximately R1 848140.
Her first foal is now a yearling and based at Avontuur Estate in the Helderberg between Stellenbosch and Somerset West where she is being prepared for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January.
“I can’t wait to get Val de Ra back to her real home at Avontuur,” Pippa says. “She will have a wonderful few months relaxing with her new foal and will eventually visit Oratorio, one of the resident stallions at the Estate and himself one of the world’s greats!
Frankel, the highest rated horse in the history of Timeform, won all 14 of his outings, and retired to stud widely regarded as the greatest racehorse in European history. A son of champion sire Galileo, Frankel’s victories included the 2000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes twice, QE II Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, and Champion Stakes. He won nine Group 1 races in a row, and never looked in danger of defeat during his 14 race career.
Frankel, who currently stands for a Northern Hemisphere fee of GBP 125 000, has also made a sparkling start to his stud career. The first Frankel foal to come up for sale fetched GBP 1.15 million at Goffs London Sale earlier in the year.