A number of leading players in the bloodstock industry attended and bought at the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. The sale’s quality and style impressed all who attended, including leading UK bloodstock agent Grant Pritchard-Gordon. Grant has worked in the industry for over thirty years, and spent 17 years working for Juddmonte Farms, where he was involved with such champions as Dancing Brave, Zafonic and Danehill, to name a few. Following this successful stint, Pritchard-Gordon opened his Badgers Bloodstock Consultants in 2002. He has subsequently travelled widely, and is a regular visitor to South Africa. He is also a director, in the UK, of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Federation of Bloodstock Agents.
Below is an article which Pritchard-Gordon wrote for the Racing Post praising the marketing drive and success of the 2013 Premier Sale.
THE power of marketing should never be underestimated and the British thoroughbred industry could well take lessons from the recently formed Cape Thoroughbred Sales.

How could anyone imagine that overseas investors could be enticed into travelling to South Africa to spend money on potential racehorses who are unlikely to ever be exported on account of the current African horse sickness protocols?

Well, results from this week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale show that some of the most prominent purchasers were made with overseas money and to names that are well recognised in our European market.

Coolmore and Shadwell feature in sales results all around the world, as do agencies such as Blandford Bloodstock, Peter Doyle and my own Badgers Bloodstock.

However, closer inspection brings up surprises such as Ed Dunlop Racing, Stan Moore and Jill Warner . . . Jill who?

Well, Jill and John Warner are the prime example of exemplary marketing success and are the proud owners of their first racehorse in South Africa, Lot 133, a Captain Al filly named Carry On Alice.

The founding members of Cape Thoroughbred Sales have masterminded the successes of such household names as Cartier, Dunhill, De Beers, Steinhof, Investec etc, so they have access to some of the best marketing brains, who told them to put a sale on in a place that overseas clients want to visit, at a time that suits wealthy people in holiday mood and with quality bloodstock that meets the highest standards.

Now in its third year, the Cape Premier Yearling Sale is established as the blueprint for success.

Yet who could imagine instigating a yearling sale of 200-plus yearlings, housed in a convention centre at the heart of Cape Town’s business district and a lazy stroll to the shops and restaurants of the famed Water Front?

Throw in some generous South African hospitality of dinners and cocktail parties and bingo! Bids were flying from all corners of the sales pavilion, with homegrown money being solidly challenged by happy holidaymakers.

The average increased by 20 per cent – yet again clever marketing, as this year’s catalogue was reduced quite substantially and the quality improved.

Ed Dunlop had put together a very international partnership of British, Australian and South African friends and relations to race five horses in South Africa in the hope that one would prove good enough to be shipped north to his Newmarket stable in time.

He worked hard on his selections, bid strongly on several expensive lots and walked away with a great cross-section of South African bloodstock by proven sires such as Dynasty and Western Winter.

A surprising partnership developed between Coolmore and Andreas Jacobs, buying some lovely fillies with good South African pedigrees through Tom Goff’s Blandford Bloodstock and Tina Rau.

PETER DOYLE worked hard and secured horses for his Red and Green Tractor syndicates, named after local drinks that will get well consumed if they progress as many Doyle purchases have in South Africa over the years. Several overseas names participate with locals in this convivial ownership venture.

Angus Gold suffered frustrations in the ring but finally bought six yearlings at all levels of the market and it will be a surprise if Mike de Kock does not unearth yet another candidate to be shipped to Dubai in two years’ time for Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Inveterate American pinhooker Kip Elser fished in waters he knows well and secured a rarity in a racey Tapit filly who had been imported in-utero. This filly may return to the ring in the breeze-ups.

And the Warners? They hope they will get as much winter fun in South Africa with their recent purchase as already provided by their stalwart Clear Praise, who has provided five wins with Simon Dow back in Britain.

And overseas money can lay claim to Lady Laidlaw’s major purchases on the first day in an effort to garner more Classic success in South Africa. And, if like me, readers will enjoy a browse in Wikipedia to remind themselves of the stories behind the funding for these purchases.

My own two purchases are for an international syndicate of friends who just love coming to this wonderful part of the world. As do I!

Hopefully the great success enjoyed by the Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Book 1) can be duplicated the Premier Sale (Book 2), which is set to be held at Durbanville on March 23rd and 24th respectively.
Book Two sees a number of well bred yearlings from the Cape’s top farms up for offer, and leading sires Captain Al, Dynasty, Silvano, Trippi, Western Winter, and Var are all represented, as are a number of well performed and promising younger stallions. Sensational young sire Seventh Rock, who enjoyed a magnificent session at Book One, is also strongly represented at the Durbanville sale, as are such other promising sires Judpot, Jay Peg, and Sail From Seattle.

The catalogue is available online at  and will be available in print from this weekend onwards.

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