The gallops are behind us and phase 1 is complete. In the yard as we write is the doyen of Highveld trainers, Ormond Ferraris, hot-as-hell Gary and Dean Alexander and champion trainer Sean Tarry. If ever a measure of the quality of the horses was needed, I guess these three gents say it all.
Joburg residents are used to traffic jams, but we could get a horse jam in Midrand this week with 235 two-year-olds in town for the last big sale of the year - the Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run scheduled for Thursday and Friday evenings.
Ahead of his biggest sale of the year - the Emperors Palace Joburg Ready-To-Run which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week - champion breeder, Mick Goss, can be relied on to provide an enticing quote.
The recent CTS Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale yielded exciting results, and even more so for the likes of deceased first season sire Await The Dawn, proven sire Toreador and last season’s Champion Freshman sire, Visionaire.
We’re not the only ones lamenting the early demise of Giant’s Causeway’s best racing son of 2013, Await The Dawn. There’s an old saying about familiarity breeding contempt, and while contempt is much too strong a word in this context, pedigree guru Andrew Caulfield was right to say that in the racing game “familiarity often unravels into boredom”. Time and again we see the elder statesmen of the stallion landscape coming out second-best in the popularity stakes against their “hot” young rivals, most of whom never come close to emulating the old boys’ achievements. In this case, he had in mind the 19 year-old Giant’s Causeway.
With a rating of 126+, Timeform dubbed Await The Dawn 'a Group One winner in waiting'. When his racing career was cut short, many yearned for his second-coming. The first have arrived. Debut crop of one of the World's best racehorses of his generation, by one of the World's best stallions.
By the conclusion of the Royal Ascot Festival, he had compiled a post-war record of 9 individual victories, eclipsing even the formidable likes of Lestor Piggot, Detorri himself, Pat Eddery and Johnny Murtagh, and prompting his new employers, Coolmore, to proclaim the reluctant star the best they've ever had.
You’d think in the wake of a sale of over a 100 lots and all of its attendant comings-and-goings (not to mention the politics!) there’d be a bit of respite for Team Summerhill. Not a word of it: the next lot for the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale are already in and grabbing the attentions of Michael Booysen, Thabani Nzimande, Tarryn Liebenberg and co