Avontuur’s popular and highly successful stallion Oratorio was once again in the international news this week.
However, this time it was as a broodmare sire that Danehill’s champion son was to the fore.
Oratorio is the broodmare sire of Monday’s impressive G3 Athasi Stakes winner Dolce Strega (Zoffany).
The latter, who is intensely inbred to Oratorio’s great sire Danehill, made it back to back wins when she won the Curragh Group 3 race by a neck and 1.25 lengths, respectively, over proven group winners Steip Amach and Ainippe.
Now a winner of three of seven outings, Dolce Strega is out of the Oratorio mare New Plays.
The Athasi Stakes has another Oratorio connection –the 1400m Group 3 race for fillies and mares has twice been won by an Oratorio filly. Lolly For Dolly winning in 2010 and her paternal half sister, Viztoria, scoring three years later.
Oratorio, sire of more than 40 stakes winners the world over, was once again in great demand at a major South African sale this past week.
The triple Group One winner ended the 2016 National Yearling Sale as the leading first crop sire, with members of Oratorio’s first local crop grossing R3 295 000 –making the former European champion the leading first crop sire (by aggregate) at the sale.
Oratorio, whose NYS yearlings averaged R299 545, had yearlings fetch up to R1 050 000, with a colt out of Bella Nero being knocked down to Mike Bass for R1 050 000.