All eyes are now riveting themselves on Saturday’s big meeting at Turffontein, which sees five Graded Stakes events, headed by the Steinhoff International Summer Cup (Gr 1), on a star-studded card. Even the minor events have their points of interest, one of the highlights among which includes the second racecourse appearance of Markus Jooste’s highly regarded Aus $3 million colt, Nodoubt Deja, by Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice.
Summerhill is represented in every one of the Graded Stakes events, including four horses off the farm in the Steinhoff Germany Merchants Handicap (Gr 2) for R400 000. These include recently proclaimed Champions, Rebel King and Pix Six as well as Dennis Drier’s enigmatic charge, Pegasus Emblem, and Sporting Post’s selection, Catmandu.
Good news is that our old mate from Perth, Dr.Barry Clements, is making the pilgrimage all the way to see his home-bred, Imbongi, take on the giants in The Dingaans, Lubricator, J.J.The Jet Plane and Hamlool.
Just touched down from his trip to Argentina, where he appears to have put his fingers on the cream of that country’s yearling crop, Mike de Kock was more than positive about Imbongi’s well-being, assuring us that he was over his jarring up following the R500 000 Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, while he suggests that Emperor Napoleon might be short of just one run. That said, he says he’s not a long way from his top, and he’ll be relying on his class to get him through.
Both horses are drawn badly, and as a result, they’ll have to be taking a back seat in the early stages of their races. We can only pray there’s little or no rain between now and Saturday, as that will make their tasks more difficult, bearing in mind each of them takes on the cream of their respective divisions.