emperors palace sales ringEmperor’s Palace Sale RingCustomers from as far afield as Australia, the UK, Dubai, Hong Kong and Turkey were in evidence, and many of them proclaimed it as much “gas” as any event they’d attended. Better than that, they said it was as well promoted, as well organized and as hospitable a sale as they’d known.

Now you can’t do that without a great team, so let’s first give credit where it’s due. This is as good a collection of people as you’ll find in creation, and we thank the good Lord every day for them.

mike de kock, neil andrews and francois steynMike de Kock, Neil Andrews and Francois Steyn (mikedekockracing)Yet, this sale was the sum of so many parts, of the sale organizers, the sponsors, Phumelela, our journalists, and lest we forget, our customers. “Buzz” is a rarity these days, and big sales are often beset by the drudgery you find when cricket tests are heading for a draw. This was the Twenty 20 version, gate-crashed on the Friday evening at our Emperor’s cocktail and supper “do”, by the returning World Cup Springboks, a world champion boxer, and God knows how many beautiful TV presenters and super models. A man just didn’t know which way to turn. And when Francois Steyn pitched up, all 6’4” and 110 kgs of his 20 year old being, the girls assured us the World Cup was safe, for at least 8 years!

We suppose we should’ve anticipated if after the vibe of the gallops on the 19th October, but the atmosphere on the course on Saturday was electric. The Boks (and the rest) were with us again, and the field for the R500k Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, for us at least, was the realization of a dream.

umngaziUmngaziAll but one of them came off the farm, and the first four places, for the first time in history in an official Stakes race, were bred by one farm. Mark Dixon’s Umngazi stole the show in what was a desperate struggle, from Imbongi, The Big Ask & Gymnast. A helluva show, and the perfect precursor for the sports on Sunday.

What a sale. Just about every fellow that mattered was there, or left a mandate, and when it was all over, there wasn’t a record intact. Turnover approaching R17 million (last year R11,4 million), averages up 39%, (Summerhill a bit more,) growth of 45%, and so on, and so on. As well as a new record price of R900k from Tony Rivalland for a smashing son of Hawk Wing