It’s probably fair to say that most people at Summerhill felt that Imbongi was a “winner” for his big effort in the Gold Challenge, but that wasn’t all for the day. As an illustration of the ups and downs of our sport, we had to face the disqualification of Bold Ellinore in the Tibouchina Stakes (Gr.2) just as we arrived at the course. Jockey Anthony Delpech was adamant they couldn’t take the race away, but it just goes to show how far apart people can be in their opinions. In the result, she was placed second.
Not to be denied, in the very next race, both Kahal and graduates of the Ready To Run exacted their revenge in no uncertain manner when Desert Links raced off to win the Cup Trial (Gr.3), registering his first Graded Stakes win in the process, and ringing up another big race win for his sire. There’ve been odd skeptics in recent weeks, suggesting Kahal was in something of a slump (if you can call ranking in the top ten a “slump”), but he answered them in the manner in which he used to answer his challengers in his previous vocation on the race course. Just two weeks ago, Carbon Leader led a one-two-four in the R250 000 KZN Breeders 1600, Galant Gagnant (another graduate of the Ready To Run) was a painfully close second to Russian Sage in the Daily News 2000 (Gr.1) last weekend, and if it weren’t for Bold Ellinore’s disqualification, he would’ve had two of the three Graded Stakes winners on Clairwood’s card on Saturday. All of them incidentally, Ready To Run graduates, as is Imbongi and another of last weekend’s Graded Stakes winners, Ithala, who raced away with the laurels in the Syringa Handicap.
Would we have settled for these results a week in advance? The answer is an emphatic “yes”. By any standards, our horses are on a roll, and we’re rolling with them.