It may be the weekend, but our Grooms are working. Here are more of their Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sales choices : 

Thembinkosi NxumaloThembinkosi Nxumalo A fellow who obviously understands his international breeding is Thembinkosi Nxumalo (otherwise known as “T.K”). A long-serving member of our Ready To Run riders. He’s gone for the son of Europe’s number one young stallion, Galileo, Lot 364 Sgidi (which is a “million” in Zulu), whom the TBA’s selection panel found good enough as a physical specimen to award him 9 points (out of a possible 10). That’s as close to perfection as they come, and this colt, whose sire stands for something approaching $200 000 (+- R2.4 million) is out of a daughter of last season’s Champion Australian sire, Flying Spur. There’s an Australian Oaks and Guineas winner in this pedigree, and this chap, who walks just like the Galileo’s we know, will have a stream of admirers once they’ve had a chance to look at him. Well done T.K. for picking this one up.

His choice of the fillies was replicated earlier by Patrick Molefe (Lot 98 Zwelonke), so while we did say she wasn’t the “obvious” pick on paper, she’s obviously caught the eye of those who work with her. Finally, we get to Zukile Mangaliso, who was entirely original in both is picks. He went for Mongameli (Lot 129), an outstanding son of Royal Academy, who has unfortunately had to be withdrawn at the last moment on account of a spiked temperature which rendered him unable to travel. Don’t despair, this beautifully bred animal from one of Australia’s top families will be available at the Ready To Run, so all is not lost.

On the distaff side, Zukile has shown his discernment in choosing Hypatia (Lot 286) a stunning daughter of the present leader of a powerful group of Freshman sires, Labeeb, out of the Stakes winning mare Winning Glory. That makes her a sister to last year’s East Cape Horse Of the Year, Hear The Drums (now a fifteen-time winner of not far short of a R1 million) from the distinguished international family of multiple Group One winner and sire, Procida (representing one of the world’s great farms, the Niarchos family’s Haras Fresnaye le Buffard, once the nursery of the most famous of all French breeders, Marcel Boussac). You’d not be surprised to see another top horse from this family, and there is one in the form of Slickly, the Champion Older Miler in Europe in 2001. Zukile knew nothing of this pedigree when he made his pick, but he certainly identified an individual who could stand her ground in any beauty contest anywhere.