In his tribute to EDDINGTON’s victory in Saturday’s Gomma Gomma Challenge Gr1, top turf writer David Thiselton observed that EDDINGTON’s performance was a complement to the quality of this year’s three-year-olds, and in the manner of his victory it’s very hard to disagree. In his two previous outings, EDDINGTON had been comprehensively beaten by SA Derby winner, KING’s GAMBIT in the SA Classic, and prior to that by IMBONGI in the Gauteng Guineas and the SA Guineas. Before Saturday IMBONGI and Cape Derby winner RUSSIAN SAGE, shared the distinction of holding the highest rating among the current three-year-olds, though that may have changed after this Saturday.
This weekend, the dual Guineas hero IMBONGI, takes on one of the best fields ever assembled for Greyville’s time-honoured Drill Hall Stakes, the gateway to many a July winner’s preparation. Among the assembly of quality runners is Horse of the Year, POCKET POWER, as well as IMBONGI’s fellow Summerhill graduate, BOLD ELLINORE (last season’s Champion South African Race Filly) who is something of a Greyville specialist.
This is one hell of an undertaking for IMBONGI who, under the weight-for-age terms, receives just 2kg from these goliaths, and we’ll only know how good the Guineas form was at the close of play on Friday evening. Either way win, lose or draw, there’s no greater satisfaction to a breeder, than owning a slice of a youngster like IMBONGI, when you only have him because there was nobody bidding for him when they got their chance at the 2006 Emperor’s Palace Ready to Run.