Ready To Run Breeze-up Gallops
Top turf writer David Thiselton reported in the Sunday Tribune this morning that everybody present at the breeze-up gallops at Summerhill on Friday were in agreement that this was the strongest catalogue ever presented for the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale that takes place on November 2 at Gosforth Park’s TBA Complex.
“The day was overcast and chilly but the rain held.
The track was in perfect condition and there was not a single incident during the 120 gallops which were carried out very efficiently and in record time.
The Summerhill work rider’s skills improve every year and they clearly relish their valuable input on the day.
This year saw not only the usual gallops Opinion Panel but also two “Gallops Judges” Dianne Stenger and Tobie Spies, whose task it was to scratch any performer considered not good or ready enough to take its place on the sale.
Yesterday’s breeze-ups held at James Maree’s farm on the Highveld drew similar accolades and Stenger and Spies also gave the 42 lots there a 100% pass rate.
At Summerhill the opinion panel consisted of Sean Tarry, Dean Kannemeyer, Graeme Hawkins, Mike Azzie, Michael Roberts and Irishman Eamonn Cullen, who each selected their best three fillies and best three colts.
Lot 121, an Australian-bred Rock of Gibraltar colt consigned by Summerhill, Lot 39, a Hawk Wing filly consigned by an agent, Jane Thomas’ Far End Pre-training, and Lot 36, a Malhub filly consigned by Summerhill were the others to appear on more than one list.
Jane Trotter from Ambleway Pre-training centre in Pietermaritzburg prepared three lots for Highlands Farm Stud and two Brazilian-breds for Marlon Aronstram’s Anfield Sports and of the Highlands consignment, Lot 23, a bay Spectrum colt, wowed the spectators, while Lot 12 had many fans too.
In 2006, the year in which the opinion panel was introduced, the experts had the likes of Umngazi (winner of the inaugural Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup and Grade 3 Byerley Turk winner), Art Of War (stakes placed and now Dubai bound), Galant Gagnant (Grade 1 Daily News 2000 runner up), Mzwilili (Grade 3 Pretty Polly Stakes winner) and Thekkady (Grade 3 Strelitzia Stakes winner) on their list.
Mark Dixon, trainer of Umngazi, commented on the quality of this year’s catalogue and said that in the current economic climate it could be a buyer’s market.
In fact, one of the wisest people present on Friday could well have been Jim Whitcher, a racing fan who hails from the south of London.
Whitcher was only able to afford Greyhounds to race in his native England, but, initially by the internet, has begun taking advantage of the strong British Pound and good value bloodstock to buy racehorses from places like Turkey and now South Africa.
This year’s 1400m Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup to be run on November 1 at Turffontein sees the stake raised from R500 000 to R1,25 million while there are hopes that next year’s event will be run for R1,5 million.
Dixon has another hopeful for this year’s event in Kahal filly, Bellagio, who won a 1000m event at Scottsville on her debut.
Paul Matchett has one of the favourites for the race in Fakazi, an Albarahin filly, who has come into her own as a three year old and won the Listed Goldfields Sprint over 1200m last weekend.
Matchett said she would have no problem with the 1400m trip but added that it would be tough to win against the colts. He suggested the idea of a separate fillies race to Mick Goss.”