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Terry's Friday and Saturday South Africa Blogs, Cool Photos

January 29, 2012 · By Terry Finley · Share
January 28th:
Last full day here. Went to Kenilworth Race Course. It’s all turf racing and the horses run really hard.

There’s no Lasix or Bute allowed on raceday. None, nada. The people are very proud of that fact. We could do the same in America if we had the willpower to get it done. Some say running without Lasix is animal abuse. Huh? Take a look at the rest of the world.

The average racehorse in South Africa makes about 25 starts in his career- more than twice as many in the States.
Overall this has been a great trip. We purchased two dynamite horses and it was great to learn about racing in another part of the world. Headed back to New York via Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to take a look at yesterday’s photo blog. Really neat stuff.

Thanks for following my blog. I’m blogging more and more and really enjoy it. Looking forward to heading home and preparing for the two-year-old sales.

January 27th:
Solid day - bought a dynamite colt by Var. Went partners on the colt with Peter Doyle, a leading bloodstock agent from Ireland who has clients all over the world. We did not want to bid against each other so we joined forces. You can take a look at his pedigree page below.

Went up to Table Mountain today for a tour. Truly one of the most awe-inspiring views in the world. Cable car goes almost straight up to get you to the top of the mountain.

On one side you can see the Southern most point of Africa and on the other you see Robben Island


This is where Nelson Mandella was held for 18 of his 27 years in captivity.

Working on videos, photos, shipping details, pre-training plans (in South Africa they call “breaking” horses “pre-training” them - I like the South African term better!)

On Saturday, Cape Town holds the equivalent of South Africa's Kentucky Derby at Kenilworth Race Course. They say the crowd will be over 50,000.



January 27th:

Bought a really nice colt today by American bred stallion Var out of a daughter by Danzig. Really excited about both purchases. See their pedigrees below. Photos and videos to come. Took a cable car to the top of a mountain today. Was unreal. More to come.



January 26th:

Finished up at the sales today - a long, long day. Started at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t end until after the 11 o'clock hour.

The auction has a much more leisurely pace here - horses spend quite a bit more time in the ring in South Africa compared to the states.

I love looking at new bloodlines. We've gotten too restrictive in the states in many ways with bloodlines. Inbreeding is fine - to a certain extent.

We bought a dynamite colt, lot 120, by a stallion called Jay Peg out of a Charismatic mare. The sire won four Grade 1 races in three different countries, including the 2008 Singapore International Cup (gr.IT) and the Dubai Duty Free (gr. IT), where he set a track record that still stands today. Here’s a good piece from pedigree expert Alan Porter about how his inbreeding shares similarities with 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown.

Here’s his promotional video:

Jay Peg

And here’s footage of him winning in Dubai:


As you might know, there are an abundance of wineries here in South Africa. About 45 seconds after I signed the ticket on this colt, the breeder walked over and gave me a nice bottle of "Jay Peg" wine. I don't think there is a single consignor who is not offering wine at their stable locations.  

We bid on two others, one of which was a nice Tapit filly who went for a bit too much money, but I’m happy with our purchase. The new horse is solid - he’s stout and looks fast and intelligent. We really liked this dude. You can find his catalogue page here.

Keep in mind these horses were bred in the Southern Hemisphere so the yearlings turn two on July 1, 2012. We'll have photos shortly.


January 25th:
Had a quiet day today. Saw several really nice horses and we looked over our short list and have our vetting work lined up. The sale starts tomorrow. Really looking forward to it.
Click here to take a look at the catalogue. You can watch it live on this site. Be sure to take a look at the catalogue too. I continue to be amazed by the passion shown by South African people toward racing. Very cool.
I ended up buying a cheap phone with prepaid minutes because my HTC from Sprint doesn’t work. Amazing how much we rely on technology these days. I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the time difference. Will try to get some more sleep tonight. Up early to head to the racetrack to watch morning training before the sale.
Below is a photo of the sales ring. Quite a bit different than the US, eh?
Until tomorrow,

January 24th:
Had a good day at the sale; looked at about 150 yearlings at the Cape Town Convention Center. Horses here are very well behaved, and several stallions have more than 20 horses entered into this sale. Most of the yearlings have good bone and feet. I’m very impressed with the quality.

Cape Town Convention Center:

Had a chance to catch up today with Golfer Gary Player. He is a big figure in South African racing and is set to sell a small group of yearlings at the sale. I had the honor of playing a round with him just before the 2010 Breeder's Cup in Kentucky. Truly an amazing guy, the world's most-traveled athlete. 

Player has a keen interest in American politics. We discussed the Presidential campaign underway in the U.S. He's met with every American President since 1956. I've been in his company five or six times since I met him in 2009. Every time, he drives home to me the fact that he loves the United States.  

Had dinner tonight on the water on the cape of Cape Town, sponsored by the sales company. Kip Elser and I  sat at a table with horsemen from Argentina, France, England, and Hong Kong. Very interesting to get their take on American racing. Every single one of them is in favor of having raceday medication abolished in America.

More to come!
January 23rd:
I researched jet lag last week in preparation for this trip to South Africa. Kept a few hints in mind - set your clock to local time several days before flying, buy a good set of earplugs to use, drink a ton of water - and benefited from a full row to myself since the plane was half empty.

Fifteen hours to Johannesburg and three to Cape Town - just arrived to an awesome view flying into Cape Town Airport, and I actually feel very good. They say most of jet lag is mental.
A few agents from Europe have already arrived, and the people are very nice. The sales company set up in the hotel lobby, welcoming visitors. They have 349 yearlings cataloged. Click here to view the catalogue.  

Kip Elser is coming in tonight from Atlanta. Hitting the beach in a bit, temp is about 85 degrees.

Be sure to check back tomorrow as I’ll be blogging throughout the week.

Below is an aerial view of Cape Town. Cool stuff.

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