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Every sale has its extraordinary buys and trainer Paul Reeves was the man responsible for arguably the shrewdest purchase at the inaugural CTS March Sale (Book 2) in 2012.

The Cape-based trainer was walking around the sales barns when he spotted a filly by VAR from a mare by Hansell, unnamed at the time. She came from the immediate family of former European star Dawn Approach and although she didn’t look like much, something had struck a nerve.

Reeves went on to pinch this filly, later named Sea Cat, consigned by Collingwood Stud, for only R20,000 and he said on the eve of the 2016 sale: “Sea Cat had a pot belly so most of the buyers ignored her. But she was scopy and I knew she’d develop over time. Perhaps there’s another one like her waiting for us this year!”

Sea Cat was syndicated to a number of Reeves’ patrons before the 2012 sale was over. She won four of 15 starts, including the Listed Breeders Fillies Guineas and the East Cape Guineas, and placed in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship before being sold to Mary and Jessica Slack and joining Mike de Kock’s stable upcountry, where she didn’t enjoy conditions and failed to adapt.

As fate would have it, Jessica Slack in 2015 sent Sea Cat back to Reeves in Cape Town to race in her famous Mauritzfontein silks and, back in her favourite surroundings, she regained her form and went on to win her third Listed race, the R150,000 Lady’s Bracelet at Fairview.

In all, Sea Cat won five times and placed six times from 25 runs for stake earnings in excess of R460,000. Reeves commented: “She was a very special mare to us, we couldn’t get luckier. We’re hoping she will make a great broodmare and perhaps the Mauritzfontein colours can stay in our yard!”

Will there be some ‘cheapies’ for buyers at this weekend’s CTS March Sale at Durbanville?

“I reckon there’s a horse for everyone,” said Justin Vermaak of up-and-coming Green Street Bloodstock.  “There is lots of interest, I’ve been here all week and we’re expecting good prices at the top end. There are nice pages in the catalogue matched by nice individuals and the brilliant CTS bonuses will ensure that there will be good bidding.”

David Allan of AllanBloodlines described CTS March as “one of the most important sales on the calendar” and said: “I’d like to see more lots on offer at this sale, it’s a top sale for buyers and sellers and I have both hats on this year. I am selling 10 lots on behalf of owners, but it’s also a good value sale to buy at.

“There are certain established stallions whose progeny will be hard to acquire but across the board there will be plenty of opportunities to purchase quality bloodstock from other stallions. There is always big value here!”

Kerry Jack of Kerry Jack Bloodstock said: “There are some nice horses on offer. The CTS prize money for purchases from this auction is a dangling carrot!”

The CTS March Yearling Sale starts at 6pm on Saturday, 19 March (Lots 1-75) and continues at 12:30 on Sunday (Lots 76-240). The online catalogue can be viewed on https://capethoroughbredsales.com/sales