sun city and andrew fortuneSun City and Andrew Fortune with the winning connections
(Gold Circle)

With the boss jetting ‘Down Under’ to judge at “the Ekka” (the prestigious Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane), our Summerhill runners are keeping the ‘home fires’ burning with continued winning performances on South Africa’s racetracks. Once again, over this past weekend, graduates from both the National Sales and the Ready To Run flew the Summerhill flag high.

Megan Romeyn writes that first up on Saturday, in the Symphony of Joy MR 78 Handicap over 2400m at Kenilworth, was 2006 National Sales graduate, Sun City, trained by Harold Crawford. This four year old bay is a son of Kahal out of Blushing Summer by Jallad. Carrying a hefty 61kgs, Sun City tussled early on for the lead before settling just off the pace, contentedly biding his time before being signaled by Andrew Fortune to kick. And kick he did, drawing clear at the 200m mark and winning going away by almost a length from Elixir. As a matter of interest, Blushing Summer is owned by Stephen Gill, who is the former financial director to the late Ruler of Dubai, and now CEO of Rabbah Bloodstock as well as being the driving force behind the Al Maktoum School of Excellence.

Next up was 2006 Ready To Run graduate, Cathay Prince, competing in the Interwaste MR 80 Divided Handicap over 1600m at Turffontein, for trainer Gary Alexander. This four year old son of the late Summerhill stallion Rambo Dancer, out of Oriental Queen, hung off the pace initially before being asked the question by Gavin Lerena. Cathay Prince moved up a gear to sneak a win by nearly a length from Access Code.

Last, but by no means least, was another 2006 National Sales graduate, Notforpublication, by Summerhill super sire, Muhtafal, out of Phantom News, who recorded his fourth career win with a nail-biting victory in the Nandos MR 93 Handicap over 1200m at Clairwood for trainer Ivan Moore. Hanging off the pace towards the back of the field, jockey Ian Sturgeon moved Notforpublication steadily forward. With 300m to go and finishing strongly, Notforpublication looked to have the race sewn up but a flying finish by Irish Affaire meant he had to dig deep to hold onto the win in the dying strides.