(Photo : Annet Becker)
READY TO RUN GALLOPS AT SUMMERHILL
16 0CTOBER 2009
We’ve said this before, but South Africans occasionally need to remind themselves how lucky they are. Anyone who might’ve watched Robin Bruss’ intercourse with Phumelela’s David Attenborough on Inside Racing on Monday night, will know how well served we are on the intellectual side of our sport. And if you could be an eavesdropper at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run dinner on the eve of the Ready To Run Gallops at Summerhill on the 16th October, you’d have an inkling of the colossus among the gathering panel of experts.
It needs to be said right up front : the Emperors Palace Ready To Run is the only sale known to man, where the buying public are served by people of such standing in their profession, but what makes this one especially unique, is that these fellows are regular patrons of the sale themselves, and so, in a strange sort of way, when they put their reputations on the line in nominating their fancies, they also immediately attract attention to them and hence, they stir their own competition. These guys are bigger than that, though, and they give of their time and their expertise, measuring several centuries between them, freely and voluntarily, because they know the game, and they know how it needs to be played.
It’s a tribute to the standing of the Ready To Run sale and the horses that have flowed from it, that these gentleman have come from far and wide, (indeed, some of our panellists have travelled from abroad to be here), yet it’s not only in what they have to say about the horses, but in the sheer weight of their presence, that we begin to understand the reverence that this sale carries these days.
While many people might take the panel’s existence as a given, and assume these guys know their stuff, it’s an eye-opener to see just how much preparatory work goes on before they even arrive at Summerhill. So it’s entirely fitting that we should spoil them with some pre-dinner entertainment and a feast at South Africa’s No.1 restaurant (it’s official now!), in an attempt to show our appreciation. They have been known, occasionally, to reciprocate with their own contribution towards the entertainment, but for those of us who are approaching maturity, we’ve generally moved on by that stage in the wee hours.
As part of their armoury, the panellists are provided with a pen picture of every horse in the sale, a commentary on its pedigree, and what it’s been showing in its gallops to date. In turn, it’s our job to provide you with a pen picture of the analysts.
Mike de Kock:
There’s not much left to be said. There isn’t a decent racing man on the planet who doesn’t know him.
Perennial character of the turf. “Picker” extraordinaire. Team Valor trainer says it all.
Has a pedigree as deep as the game itself. On his way to the mountaintop.
Horses from his toes to the top of his head. Nothing left to prove. One of the best.
Taught the British how to ride. A legend long before his time, from Japan to the United States.
Simply put, “Mr. Racing”. Commentator, auctioneer and administrator, he sees them coming, while others search for clues.
Serves some of the biggest names in racing. Is there a better eye for a good horse in the game?
Sean Tarry: National Colour, Mythical Flight, Successful Bidder. A meteoric rise through the ranks, this rocket’s got momentum, and it ain’t stoppin’ here.
Master of his profession, and a walking encylopedia on the game. Brings a special dimension to the gallops.
The alter ego of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, has “guested” as the Jester and one of the gallops most successful “pickers” of the past two years.