Only last week, we had the pleasure of reporting that of our eight winners, no fewer than seven had emerged from our Ready to Race programme, and while there weren’t as many this week, this may’ve been an even better one, as we saw several serious graduates coming through.
The first of these was Paradise Alley, who was making her sand debut fresh off a break at Summerhill, for Diane Stenger in Johannesburg, and she was up against it in a competitive event. However, like many of the Muhtafals, which are just as effective on the sand as they are on the grass (and in some cases actually move up on the sand), Paradise Alley was always travelling exceptionally well, notwithstanding her wide draw, and she ran on strongly to win an excellent race. We’d predicted to her co-owner, Ronnie Napier, the day before the race that she’d handle the sand well as we’d seen her at home on our own tracks in similar conditions, and our predictions proved to be spot on. It’s little wonder that the Muhtafals are as effective on sand, even though they are as powerfully built as they are, because Muhtafal is typical of the Raise A Native/Mr. Prospector male line, not only in the type he throws, but in the fact they perform so well on dirt in the United States.
Friday night witnessed a quite stunning victory for yet another Muhtafal filly in Outcome, who smashed the 1900 m record at Greyville by a couple of seconds (yes, a couple of seconds), quite remarkable bearing in mind quality races like the Astrapak and Michaelmas Handicap are run over the same course and distance. She was given a masterful ride by Glyn Schofield, and bided her time in the jump seat right at the back of the field, slipping up the inside off the false rail, and running away under a hands-and- heels ride for a facile victory. This is the fifth victory for this R150 000 graduate of the Ready to Run, and Steve Sturlese has once again been rewarded for his great loyalty to the progeny of the Summerhill-based stallion.
Another easy winner was Sean Tarry’s Summer Prospect, who has had her problems, but was fresh off a break, and knocked over a very competitive field in a 1000 m sprint at Turffontein. This one also came home under a hands-and-heels ride, and, she looks a “Black type” filly in every respect, as long as she remains sound. She’s a daughter of Kahal and a half sister to Springbok Summer, a recent contestant of the Golden Slipper (Gr.1).
Russian Revival had a big weekend with his Ready to Race graduates, the first of these being Ashley McNabb’s Red Ammo (on whom we reported last weekend), and who followed up with two in a row at Turffontein for Robbie Sage. He is beginning to look like one of the better juvenile colts on the Rand, while the same stallion’s two year old daughter, Simply Red (from the old Aga Khan family of Nasrullah, Royal Charger and Kalamoun) took on her elders on debut at Kenilworth and simply pulverized them in the last 150 metres.
Basil Marcus has maintained for quite some time that this is a decent sort, and he was spot-on in his assessment. He has other Russian Revivals that he thinks highly of, and if this is anything of a portent, roll on the spring when we’ll see these at the races.
Finally, one of our “pinhooks” from the National Sales, Mat Gold (purchased from the Armitage family) and sold to Paul Matchett (heavens, has he had some fun with his Ready to Run graduates this season, including Graded Stakes winner Mzwilili), came home at the first time of asking against her elders in Johannesburg. She was purchased at the Ready to Run for as little as R50 000 by the shrewdest of judges, Sharon Patterson, for the Matchett stable (as was Mzwilili), and this must surely just be the beginning for Mat Gold.
All in all, a spectacular weekend for those associated with the Ready to Run, but not quite complete without mentioning Mike de Kock’s Al Mufti filly All Quiet, who emulated (though not quite) Gilded Minaret among horses entrusted to us by the nations leading stable for educational purposes last season. All Quiet came out for the first time at Clairwood on Sunday, and was the subject of one of the biggest betting coups this season when she came home on debut to beat a very competitive field of juveniles. Apparently more than R500 000 was wagered through Interbet alone on this filly, so someone must’ve know something. She’s is a lovely scopey daughter of Al Mufti, bred from a Summerhill raised daughter of Northern Guest in Highlyconfidential, and joins Gilded Minaret among debutant winners (the latter is now a Grade One winner, of course) from the De Kock stable which did their time at Summerhill.
Well done to them - you showed the faith, and now you’re reaping the rewards.
(Please click on the Ready to Run blog for report and photographs)