emperors palace ready to run cupUmngazi leads the charge in the 2007 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup
(Emperors Palace)


charl pretoriusCharl Pretorius FreeracerThere has been a good deal of debate recently around the Black Type status of the Emperors Palace Ready to Run Cup, one of South African racing’s most significant innovations in the past decade. One thing is for sure and that is, if the quality of the field, the size of the purse, and the history of the sales graduates is anything to judge it by, this race is one of the most deserving of recognition.

Apart from the fact that proportionately, the 2006 version of the Emperors Palace Ready to Run sale has outpointed most others for value and Black Type performance, the recent exploits at Group One level of Outcome (Garden Province Stakes) and Desert Links (Canon Gold Cup) are reminders of the depth of the horses that have come from this source historically.
Quite simply, at R1.25 million, the Emperor’s Palace Ready to Run Cup is not only among South Africa’s richest racing events, it’s the richest stand-alone Ready to Run Sales race in the world.

As part of their ongoing determination to ensure the variety of their offerings and the international flavour of the race, Summerhill Stud has embarked on a deliberate course of importing the progeny of some of the world’s outstanding stallions, and this year they’ve reached unprecedented heights in what’s available in their draft.

While the names of world class sires Flying Spur, Cape Cross, Royal Academy and Rock Of Gibraltar are recognisable enough in their own right, this year’s draft sticks out by a country mile for the inclusion of no less than three progeny of the current European Champion Sire-elect, Galileo.

It’s an open secret not only among the fellows at Coolmore, where Galileo stands, but also pretty much across the spectrum of Northern Hemisphere breeders, that Galileo is the worthy heir-apparent to his own sire, Sadler’s Wells, who is decidedly the most successful stallion in European history, with fourteen Championship titles.

Besides being the sire of this year’s English Derby winner New Approach, the Coronation Cup winner, Soldier Of Fortune, and Red Rocks, recent World Champion Curlin’s destroyer, just a few weekends ago we were reminded of Galileo’s greatness, when Lush Lashes stormed off with the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks.

Two of Summerhill’s Galileo offerings at the Ready to Run sale are progeny of the late Robert Sangster’s famous Swettenham Stud, while the other is a filly from a sister to resident Summerhill stallion Way West. In other words, these are not only serious individuals, but they’re carrying some of the world’s greatest bloodlines as well.

Remember to jot down the Ready to Run breeze-ups in your diary. They will take place on Friday 17 October at Summerhill Stud. The Emperors Ready To Run Cup will be staged on Saturday 1 November and the Sale itself on Sunday 2 November.