23 January 2012 … FROM THE FARM TO THE CITY …. the yearlings move!

The yearlings have gone … well, not all of them – we still have around fifty more on the farm – with them now starting to be prepared for the Cape Yearling Sale (Book 2) in early March, and the National Sales at the end of April, etc.

The first half of our 24 yearling draft for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Book 1) left the farm early this morning and arrived at the Cape Town International Convention Centre about three hours later.

Yearlings waiting their turn to load onto the transporter - bound for Cape Town

This afternoon, in very windy conditions – not at all conducive to loading yearlings into a transporter, the second group of yearlings were, thankfully, safely loaded and headed for the ‘Mother City’.  8 SILVANO’s, 3 JET MASTER’s, 2 DYNASTY’s, a VAR, a FORT WOOD, etc.  ….. sounds like ‘and a partridge in a pear tree‘!

The second-last of our Cape Premier Sale yearlings 'ZOOM ZOOM', the JET MASTER colt out of G1 winner ZAITOON, about the load for the journey to Cape Town


Circled in yellow - the venue for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale - the Cape Town International Convention Centre

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22 January 2012 ….. Maine Chance bred Comtesse Dubois wins Laisserfaire Stakes yesterday for Team Valor – and her yearling full-brother is part of our Cape Premier Sale draft.

Yesterday at Kenilworth the Maine Chance bred, and Team Valor owned, COMTESSE DUBOIS (Count Dubois [GB] – Katherine by Rakeen [USA]) won the Laisserfaire Stakes (Listed) from the imported filly Sweet Aria [IRE].

This was COMTESSE DUBOIS’ fourth win in eight starts.  She is a three-parts sister to Graded Stakes winners COUNTESS CORLIA and BIARITZ – both by Count Dubois [GB] out of her granddam Corlia’s Bid [AUS].

Maine Chance bred COMTESSE DUBOIS (near side), in the Team Valor colours, wins yesterday's Laisserfaire S.(L) from Sweet Aria (IRE).

COMTESSE DUBOIS’ yearling full-brother forms part of our draft for this weeks Cape Premier Yearling Sale – Lot 154, and named KIRUMBO, he is a very well balanced colt with good depth of girth.

COMTESSE DUBOIS' yearling full-brother - Lot 154 at this week's Cape Premier Yearling Sale

Newly updated catalogue pages for our Cape Premier Yearling Sale draft are available at the link below.


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Our five SILVANO (GER) colts for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale …

The following link is an updated photographic file of the five SILVANO (GER) colts which form the nucleus of Maine Chance Farms consignment to the Cape Premier Yearling Sale to be held in Cape Town on 26/27 January.


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19 January 2012 …. Only a few more days before the yearlings head to ‘The Mother City’ ….

Some very surprising weather last evening – a hail storm which, fortunately, had minimal impact on Maine Chance – but adjoining fruit farms and vinyards were less lucky as the fruit is almost ready for harvest.

Although Maine Chance is not short of water, there is nothing nicer than a good soaking rain, and the hail was followed by 30mm (over an inch) of rain – which in arid region such as this clears not only the air, but washes the world clean.

Yesterday was a busy day with visitors – John Freeman, The Snaiths, Alec Foster and his wife The Honourable Gillian Foster, amongst others.

This morning former champion jockey, turned trainer, Basil Marcus, and his son Adam arrived mid-morning to view the yearlings bound for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale. Four decades in the horse business have left Basil with a ‘no nonsense’ approach to evaluating yearlings and he seemed to like a lot of what he saw on the farm today!

Basil Marcus (right) and his son Adam appreciating one of the yearling colts


Basil Marcus and his son Adam

This afternoon more visitors expected, including renowned television presenter and commentator David Raphael – but will have to write about that in the next post.

The following link is to a photographic file showing the five SILVANO (GER) colts which form the nucleus of the Maine Chance Farms consignment to the Cape Premier Yearling Sale next week.


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16 January 2012 …. is FREQUENT FLYER’s name, and win, a good omen for next week’s sale?

It was a very pleasing weekend for Maine Chance Farms – with resident sires SILVANO (GER) and BLACK MINNALOUSHE (USA) both siring three winners each – the latter doing so in three different countries.

The famous yellow and black colours that our international home-breds carry, were on board the very well-bred FREQUENT FLYER (SAf) at Kenilworth when she added the Jamaica Handicap [Listed] to her previous Listed win.  She now boasts five wins and five places from just twelve starts. Out of the G1 winner FOV’S FANCY (Foveros [GB]) she will be a welcome addition to the Maine Chance broodmare band when she retires.

Maine Chance's FREQUENT FLYER wiining Jamaica Handicap at Kenilworth last Saturday

It has just gone 14:00 – and the temperature is 39°C (102°F) – so, to say it is a little warm, is an understatement!

Spending a few days on the farm is Tina Rau from Germany who joined the morning’s visitors to view the yearlings.

Trainers Dean Kannemeyer and Brett Crawford (who trains FREQUENT FLYER for us) were here from Cape Town, as was Jehan Maleherbe of Form Bloodstock. From the north came trainer Alec Laird.

The heat had already set in by mid-morning so our visitors and the yearlings were restricted to a shady area  – not ideal for photographs – but much more pleasant for visitors and horses alike.

Viewing Maince Chance yearlings this morning, from left - Tina Rau, Jehan Malherbe, Brett Crawford, Dean Kannemeyer, Alec Laird

Tina Rau and Dean Kannemeyer have a closer look at one of the Silvano colts

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13 January 2012 ….. trainers and owners of ‘legends’ visit the farm

Among the early arrivals at Maine Chance this morning were outstanding Cape trainer Mike Bass and his patron Marsh Shirtliff, as well as Mike’s daughter (and assistant trainer) Candice Robinson.

Mike Bass and his daughter Candice Robinson cast an eye over a pair of colts

.... the eye of the 'master' .....

As trainer and owner, the Bass / Shirtliff combination is responsible for two of the finest horses to have been raced in South Africa in recent years – the legendary POCKET POWER (three times South Africa’s Horse of the Year) and his full sisterr, the international Group/Graded performer RIVER JETEZ.

Marsh Shirtliff, the owner of POCKET POWER and RIVER JETEZ, with Mike and Candice

With the above two outstanding horses being progeny of 5-time Champion Sire JET MASTER (SAf), the fact that we have three colts and a filly by JET MASTER (SAf) bound for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, meant that there were more than a few yearlings for them to view!

Incredibly windy today, but, fortunately the stable courtyards are well-protected and the yearlings behaved in an exemplary manner.

Stud manager John Slade's very handsome lurcher seems keen to take on the wind and have a race with it!

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12 January 2012 …. the week continues at a strong pace!

Today saw no exception to the hustle and bustle of the past few days – this morning started with the arrival of a veterinary team from the world-class Drakenstein Veterinary Centre to do all the joint x-rays of our yearlings bound for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

The team from Drakenstein Veterinary Centre busy with the X-raying of one of our yearlings bound for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale

Other early arrivals at the farm were Cape trainer Glen Kotzen together with one of his owners, Peter de Beyer, to view the yearlings bound for the CPYS.

Cape trainer Glen Kotzen (left) and Peter de Beyer (right) discuss one of the yearlings with Maine Chance manager John Slade (centre)

Peter de Beyer has the Maine Chance bred PRINCESS VICTORIA with Glen Kotzen, and the pair are no doubt hoping to strike gold again at Maine Chance, as PRINCESS VICTORIA was crowned Champion 2-Year-Old Filly in South Africa last season, and, this season, has won the Cape Fillies Guineas-G1 and, in her last start, ran third against the colts in the Cape Guineas-G1 – beating subsequent Queen’s Plate-G1 winner Gimmethergreenlight (AUS) by 1½ lengths!

Glen Kotzen and Peter de Beyer deep in discussion over one of the yearlings

Whilst the one team of vets were busy with the yearlings, their local division were checking up on the status of some of the mares – so, all-in-all a very busy morning.

Mares and their foals headed up to the vet room for foetal scans

Lunchtime was highlighted by the news that the Maine Chance bred filly HIDDEN BEAUTY (by Victory Moon [SAf]), who won the South African Fillies Nursery-G2 last season, had just won her fourth race (from 9 starts) at the Vaal racecourse near Johannesburg – winning easily by almost 4 lengths! HIDDEN BEAUTY’s earnings now stand at R498,500.

Coming from the same family as HIDDEN BEAUTY is our SILVANO [GER] yearling filly PEARLWARE (Lot 232 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale) who is out of the winning FORT WOOD [USA] mare PEARLY PRINCESS [SAf].

Over at the stallion paddocks – with the horses in their boxes – we found a new occupant of SILVANO’s paddock ……together with his band of followers!

While SILVANO is in his box ....

And life goes on at Maine Chance Farms!



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