There were no fewer than eight graduates of the Summerhill paddocks which took home the gold this last weekend, and no fewer than seven of them were products of our Born to Run, Ready To Race programme.

As we reported earlier in the week, we’d had a lean run Monday to Thursday and had to resort to a story on our 2003 J&B Met hero, Angus, to keep the columns rolling. However, Saturday changed all of that, with four graduates rocking up in style at the Turffontein meeting, two of them for the Gary Alexander Racing stable.

Stripes of Gold made it four for Costa Savva (she is a daughter of Mike & Marty Meredith and Linda Norval’s Graded Stakes-placed mare, Shoe Dance), while Volovolo became Lyall Anderson’s first winner as an independent trainer.

gary alexanderGary AlexanderThe Alexanders must’ve been delighted with the showing of Nomafashini, a R60 000 purchase at last year’s Ready To Run sale, who was second on his first outing and posted an impressive win at the second time of asking under Champion Jockey Mark Khan. This is a horse with a bright future, and those connected with him have much to look forward to. The Alexanders were back in the winner’s enclosure a few races later, when Oriental Dancer (another R60 000 purchase at the same sale) got up for her third victory. However most of the encouragement for the Alexander’s rests in the fact they will have both Nomafashini and Gymnast among their entries for the R500 000 Emperor’s Palace Sweepstakes on the 3rd November, and they’ll have a proper hand in the race to boot.

The only exception to the Ready To Run skein of Summerhill winners over the weekend came from Notforpublication, who was more than impressive in winning his maiden for Ivan Moore under top jockey, Glyn Schoefield, and Ivan Moore had cause to be pleased a little later in the card with another Ready To Run graduate in Vimba, who was second to Geoff Woodruff’s outstanding Argentinean import, Full Power.

Not to be denied by this success for the Summerhill National Sales programme, the “Ready To Runners” were back in form when Countess Kinsky, just recently moved to Corrine Bestel, repaid her kindness in getting up in the 7th, and then Michael Destombes, remembered for his connections with Emperor Napoleon and Bold Ellinore, was able to put his name down as the breeder of Omar Makaarem in the last. And if that wasn’t enough, Garrington, who was entrusted to us by Herman Brown for the purposes of his racecourse preparation, was another advert for a stable, which, 6 000 kms away on Sunday, witnessed a fantastic effort from Linngari in the Prix de Moulin de Longchamps Gr. 1 in Paris. He ran a powerful fourth to the Aga Khan’s ultimate winner, Darjina, and was only a half length and a half length behind the exulted likes of Ramonti and George Washington. This was some kind of a run for this horse, and Herman deserves full credit for giving him the opportunity (we all know he’s with Alain de Royer Dupre, but Herman’s the reason he’s there).