If this sounds like an old fashioned “78” record stuck on “Ready To Run”, the groove’s been stuck by reality.
Wednesday’s Clairwood meeting saw four graduates of the Ready To Run sale go to post, and three of them (including Richard Fitzgerald’s first-timer, National Thatch) came home alone.
None was more impressive than Alec Laird’s Tap Tap (Kahal ex Northern Guest mare, Derniece Danse) who walked away by 2,75 lengths first time he got a bit of ground (1450 metres).
Interestingly, his first-timer own brother, Galant Gagnant, racing for Sheikh Mohammad and Mike de Kock at Clairwood Sunday, was an extremely impressive winner from fellow Ready To Run graduate (and debutant) UMNGAZI. The third horse was some 6 or 7 lengths back.
As startling as any winner over the weekend, was yet another first timer, Prize Flower (by Muhtafal) at Greyville Friday evening. This Alan Magid-bred, Mark Dixon-trained filly was slow out of the stalls, turned for home at the back of the field, and in spite of running green under the lights, she strode away by a ‘commanding’ 1,5 lengths, booking her place for the “Big One” in early November.
Yet these weren’t the only impressive Ready To Race candidates putting up eye-catching debuts, as IMBONGI (3rd, coming from the back in the first also for Mr De Kock) and MHLONISHWA (closing quick for 2nd for Garth Puller and Steve Sturlese), showered their new owners with the title of “Racehorse Judge” first-time at the course.
With all this promise in the wings, the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Sweepstakes (due to be run for R 500 000 on the first Saturday in November, and restricted to graduates of the sale) is shaping up as a corker.
Keep an eye on this space.