If they’re feeling like this about Saturday’s half million Rand stake, imagine the heat come next year, when the sweepstakes looks set to get well beyond R1 million.
The final field for the R500 000 Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup has just been released, with all but one of them, graduates of last year’s Summerhill draft.
Thirteen out of fourteen acceptors for the richest Ready To Run Sales race in the world, that’s quite an accomplishment in our books, though not all of them are officially “Summerhill-bred”. Moscow Magic was bred by veteran Summerhill supporter and one of the nation’s top racing ambassadors, Laurie Jaffee and his fine lady, Jean, while Alan and Brenda Magid, the venerable judge and his honourable “missus”, produced Prize Flower on the farm.
Another from our draft not carrying the official “brand”, is Matt Gold, a “pinhook” from the Armitage’s Sandown Stud last year, and one of the “whisperers” in the race. Apparently trainer Paul Matchett, who also runs Group winner, Mzwilili, is quietly confident.
The bookmakers appear to believe the race rests between the Mike de Kock duo, Galant Gagnant and Imbongi, the former the property of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa al Maktoum and the latter a left-over from last year’s sale, where he was passed out and sold privately off the farm several months later to a team comprising past Chief Steward of the Jockey Club, Ronnie Napier, Mike Fleischer (his first horse, and in line for half a mill!) Owen Leibrandt, who’s been around for a long time, and Dr. Barry Clements, his Aussie based co-breeder.