Looking at the stellar results from the August Two-Year-Old Sale, it’s hard to imagine that just 18 months ago our draft of 10 yearlings consigned to the Cape Yearling Sale realized R505 000. Of that total, R200k was for a Gimmethegreenlight colt, which doesn’t even cover the auction commission on the recent R3.8 million sale-topper.

Achieving (if this word could be used) R305k for five yearlings, with another four not sold, was dire.

Amongst the four not sold was an Erupt colt that we thought had promise. Not the biggest, but there was plenty of him, he moved well, and he was out of a half-sister to the dam of Rio Querari. Except that Rio hadn’t yet won the Computaform Sprint.

There wasn’t a bid for him.

In fairness, the temperature in the auction venue was unbearably hot, the mood in the industry at the time was somewhat frosty, and Erupt was not exactly volcanic.

However, we had a plan. This colt, subsequently named Beerenberg, qualified for the BSA Juvenile bonus, as well as the Cape Yearling Sale Cup. We’d put him into training, and if things didn’t work out, we’d retire him early.

The plan didn’t start well. At his first grass gallop, he did an abrupt right turn, nearly putting his work rider – and himself – over the rail. The video is available on request.

Beerenberg had a race on 23 January, mostly because we had to do something with him before the sales race. However, he was still woefully immature, showed zero interest in the running, and finished well back in the field.

He came back to the racecourse late in February with an improved third-place finish, but he was so shin sore that we decided to geld him and give him time to recover.

While his shins continued to be an issue, his first run as a gelding (on 8 June) was a much improved third, beaten just over a length. 17 days later he was a close second. Then he had a break of just six days to his next race, when he doddled in despite being very green in the running.

It says a lot for his constitution that he had three runs in a little over three weeks, with the final two races coming just six days apart. In travelling to Fairview for his maiden win (sadly, a week too late to catch the final BSA Juvenile Bonus) he seems to demonstrate some of the laid-back attitude of his globe-trotting sire.

He had seven weeks off, and then made his three-year-old debut, finishing a good second in dreadful conditions. He certainly would have needed that run.

Our plan with Beerenberg didn’t work out quite as expected. He never ran in the sales race. He missed out on collecting the bonus for his juvenile win. However, we’ve proven that we have a racehorse.

Erupt has 10 first crop winners, which is incredible for a horse that made his debut over 2200m halfway through his three-year-old season, and who then won two Grade Ones over 2400m. Admittedly, his sire, Dubawi breeds Grade One winners over all distances, as do his sons. One could say that Dubawi lays claims to being the hottest sire of sires in Europe at the moment.

There’s a chance that Beerenberg could be a sprinter (after all, his dam is a half-sister to the dam of Rio Querari), but he is a similar type to his sire, so one can’t rule out the possibility of him getting a little further.

The family isn’t just about Rio, though. Beerenberg’s dam is half-sister to two mares who each produced 10-time winners. Nordic Rebel is still in training at nine, having won his 10th race at the age of eight. Similarly, Cheers won 10 races, with the final coming at the age of 10. It’s an amazing family, a source of both Grade One excellence and longevity.

Rio Querari showed promise at two and three, but he didn’t find his best form until he turned four.

As much as we’d love to race him ourselves, we’re a commercial operation. Putting Beerenberg into training after our failed attempt at selling him in February 2021 was Plan B. So, he’s returning to the sales ring in September. Well, a virtual sales ring, in the form of the BSA Online Sale.

We think he represents a great opportunity, as a promising young racehorse who is going to improve further with maturity and racing. He’s a horse with a lovely temperament; as game as they come.

With his most recent second-place finish coming on 20 August, we’d be remiss in not pointing out that he could be entered for a race immediately after purchase, to take advantage of the improved prize money on offer in the Cape. Indeed, he’s accepted to run on 7 September, an engagement that is for the benefit of the new owner.