Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The optimistic spirit prevalent among buyers at Friday night's first session of the 2009 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale carried forward into the second session on Sunday -when averages improved and 10 lots were sold for R1million or more.
Trainer Mike Bass bought champion sprinter Rebel King's half-brother by Kahal for R2,4million on behalf of owner Graham Beck and said of the Summerhill-bred horse: "He's an attractive yearling and Mr Beck advised me that he wasn't going to miss this one!''
The second-highest price of R2million was paid by owner Chris van Niekerk's Rainbow Beach Trading for Roman Mall, a son of Count du Bois from an own sister to SA Oaks winner Monyela - and from the family of Horse Chestnut, consigned by Gavin Schafer.
"Roman Wall is a smart-looking type and has a classic pedigree. He will race for Chris, Markus Jooste and Bernard Kantor,'' said Van Niekerk's trainer, Sean Tarry.
Trainer Mike Azzie's Prancing Horse went to R1,6million to secure a robust colt by Jet Master (lot 321), one of this week's much talked-about yearlings and the favourite of his breeder, Pippa Mickleburgh, of Avontuur Stud.
International buyers were active on the day. Team Valor International's Barry Irwin purchased, among others, a Solskjaer filly for R1,5million. Peter Doyle bid to the same amount for a colt by Royal Academy.
Mike de Kock, acting for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, bought five lots through Shadwell South Africa and said: "Sheikh Hamdan has been in business with Summerhill Stud, but he is a newcomer to the National Sale and he hopes to follow the ways of his cousin, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who has had good success with South African breeds.
De Kock described his first Shadwell buy, a Fort Wood colt, as a cracking specimen and said: "I'd marked him as a R1million-plus prospect and got him for R800000, which was pleasing.''
BSA's chief executive Jan Naudé expressed his satisfaction with the sale so far and said: "We're just a notch below R100million on aggregate and if the buoyant buying continues on Monday, we'll heading for an aggregate of around R160million which is more or less what we expected from this sale.''
Guest auctioneer Steve Davis, from New Zealand, confirmed Naudé's hopes, saying: "If it holds up like this to the end, it will be the strongest sale I have seen in my last six sales.
The last session will commence on Monday at 11am, during which lots 376-596 will come under the hammer.