Historic Cape Stud Purchased By Leading Breeder

Historic Cape Stud Purchased By Leading Breeder

A chapter in Cape breeding history closed this week as another opened, with the light of a fresh new dawn appearing on the horizon.

The breaking news that Maine Chance supremo and champion breeder Dr Andreas Jacobs has purchased the historic and tradition-laden Litchfield Stud from the Winshaw family will be music to the ears of the South African racing and breeding industry, and a welcome broader vote of confidence in the African continent.

It is no secret that the Jacobs family have a deep affinity and love for the serenity and rustic beauty of the Robertson valley, also known as the ‘Valley of wine, roses and horses’.

“My wife Natalie and I have known the Winshaws and have been visiting their beautiful farm for over fifteen years. We were privileged to stand the Litchfield-bred Victory Moon at Maine Chance, and in later years also acquired the majority of their broodmare band. When the opportunity arose to purchase the farm and continue its proud legacy, we did not hesitate to enter into discussions with them,” Dr Jacobs told the Sporting Post on Sunday. When asked what the plans were for Litchfield Stud, the internationally acclaimed breeder said that a variety of options were being considered. “It is our intention to continue with Litchfield as a horse nursery, while incorporating a hospitality aspect to it. We have developed a unique facility for seminars at our breeding operation in Germany, combining educational and explorative courses in an equine environment. We envisage replicating something similar at Litchfield. This will naturally encompass investment and opportunities to uplift the livelihood of the local community,” added Dr Jacobs.

Anybody who has enjoyed a visit to Litchfield Stud, will attest to the captivating beauty and ambiance of the 23 ha farm, situated on Robertson’s well known ‘Golden Mile’.

Geoff and Katherine Winshaw have lived on the farm for 32 years after purchasing it from the Late, successful owner, Ken McKenzie in 1998.  “Handing over the reins to our friends Andreas and Natalie makes parting so much sweeter,” they added. From a small band of select mares a number of notable big race winners have been produced on this stud, most notably, the pioneering Dubai Horse Of The Year Victory Moon,  who put Litchfield on the international stage winning the Gr2 UAE Derby, Gr2 Maktoum Challenge (Round 3), Gr3 Maktoum Challenge (Round 2) and Gr3 UAE 2000 Guineas in Dubai. He also ran third in the Gr1 Dubai World Cup. He made his mark standing at Maine Chance and despite passing at a young age, was the sire of multiple Gr1 winning champion Princess Victoria, Gr1 Golden Horseshoe winner War Horse, East Cape champion Blaze Of Fire, and the globetrotting Nocturnal Affair, among others.

Geoff and Katherine wound down their thoroughbred breeding operation some years ago, and the first seeds of the present transaction could well have been sown when Andreas Jacobs bought their broodmare band at the time.

The Jacobs family needs no introduction. Steeped in international thoroughbred racehorse breeding, they are the proud holders of the reigning South African Horse of the Year trophy via superstar Princess Calla, and have added another winner to the Maine Chance Farms stable with the acquisition of the Litchfield Stud property, that, as observed, has itself been the launching pad of generations of champions.

Walther J. Jacobs, father of Klaus, grandfather of Andreas, founded Gestüt Fährhof near Bremen, Germany in 1960 and developed it into an internationally-recognised and respected stud farm. Decades of champions first saw the light of day at the Jacobs operation and it was on Walther Jacobs’s passing that Andreas took over the mantle of Chairmanship of the family owned Fährhof, whilst his father Klaus acquired Newsells Park Stud in England and set up one of the world’s most progressive commercial breeding operations just outside Newmarket. Klaus built Newsells Park Stud into a successful breeding and racing operation.

On Klaus Jacobs passing in September 2008, Andreas Jacobs became Chairman of Newsells Park Stud and after a successful 13 years it was sold in the summer of 2021 for an undisclosed sum. Andreas and his wife Natalie visited Maine Chance Farms in early 2002, and fell in love with the beauty and serenity of the Robertson district and didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to acquire Maine Chance, described by them at the time as ‘one of the most beautiful stud farms in the world’, in the fertile, lime rich Robertson valley.

From the early days of subsequent multiple SA champion sire Silvano, who was a revelation becoming SA Champion Sire 6 times, the dynasty has continued with his Champion son Vercingetorix having taken over the mantle in recent years. Maine Chance Farms is also the home of Champion 2yo Sire Querari, Champion First Season Sire Erupt and up and coming young sire Quasillo, who has produced a few small crops due to infertility problems.

Continuous importation of fillies and broodmares from Europe has supplemented Maine Chance’s high-quality broodmare band. Dr Jacobs is always at pains to point out that Maine Chance’s legendary history in the production of multiple champions and five consecutive breeder’s championship titles is a testament to the late founders, Godfrey Gird and Graham Beck.

The proud tradition of excellence has continued into the 21st century and now the addition of the Litchfield Stud name to the Jacobs stable heralds an exciting new chapter!

– Sporting Post



Connections and family are what keep the game of breeding and racing exciting, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the results of yesterday’s Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Gr.2) at Royal Ascot, where resident Maine Chance stallion Querari gained some important international Black type lustre to his already potent profile.

Runner-up in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, the four year old filly Thunder Beauty’s dam Quiania hails from the same family as Maine Chance-based stallion Querari, who both share the multiple Group One and Group-winning mare Quebrada in their female lines. Quiania was bred by Gestut Farhof, whose owner Dr.Andreas Jacobs also owns one of South Africa’s top stud farms, Maine Chance.

Vercingetorix Star Of KZN Sale

Vercingetorix Star Of KZN Sale

With class acts Pomp And Power and Astrix carrying his flag in Saturday’s R5 million Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July, Maine Chance stallion Vercingetorix was the toast of a well patronised BSA KZN Yearling Sale on Thursday.

After enjoying tremendous success at the 2022 National Yearling Sale, Maine Chance Farms’ champion sire elect Vercingetorix was again to the fore at Thursday’s KZN Yearling Sale.

Vercingetorix responsible for both the top priced colt and filly sold at the 2022 KZN Yearling Sale, and the champion son of Silvano also ended the one day auction as Leading Sire by Aggregate.

Vercingetorix’s unnamed colt (Lot 73) was knocked down to John Freeman for a record equalling R1 100 000 to top the KZN Sale on Thursday. The same price high was achieved in 2012.

Consigned to the sale by Boland Stud, the colt is out of the three time winning Var mare Varster and is thus bred on the same Vercingetorix/Var cross as recent Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint winner Alesian Chief.

The well bred Varster is a half-sister to Gr2 Betting World Derby winner Silvano’s Jet -sired, like Vercingetorix, by Silvano.

Klawervlei Stud consigned the top priced filly on Thursday – with the unnamed Vercingetorix filly (Lot 4) knocked down to longstanding Mary Liley for R625 000.

Vercingetorix had all six of his yearlings on sale sell for a gross total of R2,865 million, with Vercingetorix’s yearlings averaging R477 500 on Thursday.

Well clear on South Africa’s General Sires List for 2021-2022, Vercingetorix runners have earned over R14,53 million, and he has been represented by 13 individual stakes winners this season.

South Africa’s Champion Sire elect for 2021-2022, his flagbearers this season include the Gr1 winners Alesian Chief, Astrix, Chansonette and Pomp And Power.

With 146 of the 169 catalogued lots sold, the sale aggregate was a healthy R18 095 000, with an average of R123 938 and a median of R77 500. The sale was last held physically in 2019 and not during the past two covid-19 inflicted years.

Silvano Challenges Son For Champion Title

Silvano Challenges Son For Champion Title

The results of Saturday’s Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July meeting once again underlined the dominance of the late Silvano.

Not only did Silvano’s daughter Sparkling Water became her sire’s fifth July winner when she claimed Saturday’s headliner, Silvano also made his mark as a broodmare sire and sire of sires.


In landing the July, Sparkling Water joined Bold Silvano, Heavy Metal, Power King and Marinaresco as July winners by Silvano, with Power King leading home a 1-2-3 for Silvano when he beat paternal half-brothers Punta Arenas and Tellina to win the 2015 July.

This year’s July was a double triumph for Silvano, with his daughter winning the historic race and his son Safe Passage finishing third.

Sparkling Water is also the 28th Gr1 winner for her deceased sire and she joins the likes of Do You Remember, Field Flower, Flirtation, Happy Valentine, Nightingale, Orchid Island, Silver Mountain, Silver Darling, Silvano’s Pride, and former Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding as a G1 winning daughter of Silvano.

Silvano has sired more July winners than any other sire in the history of the race, a further tribute to the outstanding success he enjoyed as a sire in South Africa.

Following Sparkling Water’s landing Saturday’s R2.94 million first prize, Silvano has laid down a strong challenge to his son Vercingetorix, who currently heads South Africa’s General Sires List, and this year’s Champion Sire title chase could well go down to the wire.

However, Silvano’s success on Saturday was not limited to Sparkling Water’s impressive July win.

His daughter Marina and Silver Darling finished second and third respectively in Saturday’s Gr1 Brentford FC Garden Province Stakes, while Silvano is also sire of Imperial Ruby and Smoking Hot who finished third and fourth in Saturday’s Gr3 DSTV Gold Vase. Another son of Silvano, Silvano’s Timer, finished third in Saturday’s Listed Compendium Insurance Brokers Handicap, when beaten under a length by the winner.

A clean sweep for Maine Chance stallions!

A clean sweep for Maine Chance stallions!

Maine Chance Farms pulled off a notable achievement when their past and present resident stallions Silvano, Vercingetorix, Querari and Erupt all claimed sires titles for the just finished 2021-2022 South African racing season.

Once again, Silvano was crowned Champion Sire of South Africa, while his outstanding sire Vercingetorix, who finished runner up to his sire on the General Sires List last season, was South Africa’s Leading Sire of 3YOs for the 2021-2022 season.

Already a Leading Sire of 2YOs (he topped that premiership in 2108-2019), the ever reliable Querari was named South Africa’s Leading Sire of 2YOs for 2021-2022, while Dubawi’s blue blooded son Erupt was officially crowned Leading First Season Sire for the season just ended.

The late, legendary Silvano claimed a remarkable sixth South African General Sires List, with the son of Lomitas ending the 2021-2022 season more than R1.262 million clear of runner up, and current star sire, Vercingetorix.

Silvano runners earned R17 688 263 million in the past season, with Silvano’s 10 black type winners of 2021-2022 winning 16 stakes races in that season. Pride of place goes to Silvano’s star daughter Sparkling Water, who became Silvano’s fifth July winner when she won the 2022 G1 Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Silvano runners dominated the finish to this year’s July, with his daughter Sparkling Water winning South Africa’s most famous horse-race and his son Safe Passage finishing third.

Other stars representing Silvano last season included top three-year-olds Safe Passage and Silver Darling, who provided their sire with a G1 double when landing the G1 Daily News 2000 and G1 Woolavington 2000 respectively on the same day, and Marina, winner of Saturday’s G2 Gold Bracelet and runner up in the G1 Brentford FC Garden Province Stakes.

Silvano’s tally of 28 G1 winners is a modern day record for a South African sire, with Silvano responsible for a total of 29 G1 winners overall.

Silvano’s progeny excelled at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Saturday -not only did his daughters Marina and Follow The Star finish first and second in the Gold Bracelet, his son Silvano’s Timer captured the Listed Marshalls World Of Sport Darley Arabian, and another son, Imperial Ruby, finished second in the G3 Marshalls World Of Sport Gold Cup.

Silvano is also broodmare sire of both Canadian Summer and Bless My Stars, who ran 1-3 in Saturday’s G1 Thekwini Stakes.

It was an emotional, posthumous triumph for Silvano, who died almost 12 months before recording his latest title.
However, Silvano has left behind a worthy heir to his throne in the form of his outstanding son Vercingetorix- South Africa’s Leading Sire of 3YOs for 2021-2022.

It was an exceptional season for Vercingetorix, whose progeny shone both on the track and in the sales ring. Vercingetorix’s three-year-olds, headed by the G1 winners Alesian Chief, Chansonette and Pomp And Power, earned more than R7.835 million last season, and captured such notable races as the G1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas, G1 Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby, G1 Golden Horse Sprint, G2 Concorde Cup, G2 Post Merchants and G3 WSB Merchants.

His stablemate Querari had an exceptional season with his two-year-olds, with Querari sired juveniles earning more thanR2.855 million in 2021-2022. Querari was responsible for 23 two-year-old winners last season, including graded stakes winners Galla Vanting, Gobsmacked, and Prophet. His two-year-olds were seen to great advantage on Saturday when Godsmacked won the G2 Prosport International Debutante, and Querari sons Quantum Theory and Prophet ran third and fourth respectively in the G1 Premiers Champion Stakes.

Erupt looks like joining the likes of Night Of Thunder and New Bay as a top-class son of Dubawi. The close relative of Encosta De Lago and Holy Roman Emperor is officially South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire for 2021-2022, with Erupt’s nine early winners headed by G3 Protea Stakes/Listed Storm Bird Stakes winner Karangetang.