Racing South Africa: BIT Thoroughbreds Tour

French Gr3 winner Eightfold Path pictured at Scott Bros' Highdown Stud. Image: Candiese Marnewick
French Gr3 winner Eightfold Path pictured at Scott Bros’ Highdown Stud. Image: Candiese Marnewick


B.I.T. Thoroughbreds SA Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Hartley Capital Ltd, invited clients of the Beijing-based finance Company to South Africa to enjoy the summer sunshine and to view BIT Thoroughbred’s growing band of horses around the country, the majority of which are based in KZN.

BIT Thoroughbreds has invested significantly in the South African horseracing and breeding industry since 2012. The Company’s South African racing journey began with the purchase of the very tough and talented, Tipo Tinto, who gave its now distinctive blue and red colours early prominence when reeling off three victories in succession under the care of main conditioner, Dennis Drier. This early success and the obvious opportunity South Africa provides international equine investors, gave impetus for BIT Thoroughbreds to quickly grow its horseracing interests to the current stable of 54 thoroughbreds that are managed by Peter Gibson and administered by Equine Owners.

The late-maturing and progressive Go Deputy gelding Welsh Emperor was acquired from Bloodstock SA’s Ready To Run Sale in 2013, initially bought with a view to exporting to Singapore, but with prevailing quarantine restrictions, went into training in Port Elizabeth with Alan Greeff. Now a four-time winner, export plans are back on the table and he is due to join the February shipment to Europe via Mauritius.

Apart from BIT’s racing silks, its racehorses are also recognizable by their names, many of which begin with the prefix “Brigt” which refers to another subsidiary in China. Racegoers will recall the very talented Listed placed, Brigtnumberfour (Kahal), the Roy Magner trained full sister to Gr.1 Computaform Stakes winner, Noble Heir, now safely in foal to Bold Silvano at Ascot Stud.

Another Kahal filly that seems to be going places is Brigtnumberfive, who recently trounced her field at Scottsville when winning her third race from just nine starts and there is much excitement about the prospects of Brigtnumbersix, a debut winner for Lucky Houdalakis. The last mentioned is a beautifully bred staying daughter of Visionaire from the Orpen mare, Amy Jane, herself a daughter of former Champion racemare, Kundalini.

With the continual aim of upgrading its stock, BIT Thoroughbreds invested significantly at the National Yearling Sale last year, taking home eight well bred yearlings (mostly fillies) and more recently at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, when buying a high quality Grey’s Inn colt to replace Welsh Emperor and a beautiful Silvano filly from Maine Chance Farms.

BIT has also invested significantly in the breeding business with 28 broodmares based around the country and a number of stallion shares including a majority shareholding in the exciting French Gr.3 winner Eightfold Path (USA), the only son of Giant’s Causeway currently at stud in South Africa and whose first crop are now 2yr olds. With a pedigree dominated by Champion Classic horses, the resident Highdown Stud stallion’s progeny are not expected to be early types and his late season runners will be viewed with great anticipation.

After visiting Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, the touring party ended their trip in KZN visiting BIT’s horses at Spring Valley, Highdown and Rathmor Studs before heading back to China.

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