South Africa

Jooste's Mayfair Speculators sell Horse of the Year

2017-12-20 10:55
Markus Jooste at the recent Klawervlei breeders awards (Klawervlei.co.za)

Cape Town - Businessman and passionate racehorse owner Braam van Huyssteen has bought dual Horse of the Year Legal Eagle from Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Mayfair Speculators is the company which deals with former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste's horseracing interests.

Jooste, a horse breeder and racing fanatic, quit as Steinhoff International Holdings NV CEO earlier in the month after the discovery of suspected financial wrongdoing.

Shares in the global clothing and furniture retailer crashed 85% following the news, wiping a staggering €11bn (R176bn) from the value of the company.

Entrepreneur Van Huyssteen is the founder and owner of Tekkie Town which is a subsidiary of Steinhoff.

According to the Sporting Post website, Van Huyssteen has brought in two partners, Brisbane-based William Henderson and Hedley McGrath, and Legal Eagle will run in Van Huyssteen’s silks of dayglo yellow with purple spots.

The six-time Grade 1 winner will remain in the care of ruling champion trainer Sean Tarry, according to his new owner.

Van Huyssteen, who has around 175 horses, appeared thrilled with his purchase.

“He’s the best horse in the country,” he said, adding that he is hoping Legal Eagle will provide him with his first Grade 1 victory.

Tarry’s summer plans for the champion horse were a bid to win the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate for the third year running and then to target the Sun Met.

The first part of that plan will remain unchanged, with Van Huyssteen saying: “It makes sense for him to run in the Queen’s Plate.”

However, he added: “But there are other avenues available to us after that. Let’s get through round 1 first!”

The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will take place on Saturday, January 6, while the Sun Met will be run on Saturday, January 27, both at Kenilworth racecourse in Cape Town.

In his eight years as an owner, Van Huyssteen has had Grade 2 celebrations with Dynastic Power and Triptique in the Betting World 1900 and Cape Merchants.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggest Mayfair Speculators have sold a second star horse, Edict Of Nantes.

The Sporting Post website reported that dual Grade 1 winner Edict Of Nantes has passed all veterinary and statutory requirements and will be exported to join the Tony Millard yard in Hong Kong.

If the rumoured sale proves to be true, it would make the classy 4-year-old a doubtful starter for the Sun Met in view of Hong Kong 's import restrictions governing race exposure.

According to leading bookmakers, BET.co.za, Legal Eagle has been installed as 3/1 favourite for the Sun Met, wit Edict Of Nantes next best at 6/1.

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