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(Footage : Tellytrack)
R1,5 MILLION EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN CUP
Just over a week ago, we were spared a washout at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Gallops staged at Summerhill, by a mere three minutes, when the heavens opened before the last horse had even gotten back to unsaddle. It was as if someone up there was saying “we’ve held off long enough, and you’ve had your day”.
The new focus though, is obviously on the sale itself, and of course the R1,5 million Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, where four of the top five horses on the boards made their final dashes for preparation. The first of these was Mike de Kock’s Fisani, who overcame the worst of the draw on the inside track at Turffontein last Thursday, striding away from older fillies to a facile 2,75 length victory. She’ll be the fillies’ fancy for the race, if you’re looking for one.
Double fisted this year, de Kock sent forward Havasha against a tough gathering of older campaigners on the same card, again from the outside draw, and this one looked a winner all over as he had the field flat to the boards within strides of turning for home. Short of a run and wearied by his exertions in overcoming the draw, he was run out of it in the closing stages by another Summerhill Ready To Run graduate of a previous time, Mpumelelo. Nonetheless, champion jockey Anthony Delpech remarked in a post-race comment, that for his money this one “was home and hosed” for “the Cup”.
As if we’d employed a script writer for the highest of dramas, the remaining two protagonists, Smanjemanje and Pierre Jourdan clashed on Saturday, with Smanjemanje getting home by the shortest of short heads. However, in getting there, Piere Strydom’s mount had shifted his ground, impeding Pierre Jourdan, in the process resulting in his number being taken down in the Stewards’ room. That leaves Pierre Jourdan with a two-for-two record to date.
That’s three winners from four of the biggest fancies for the race in the past week, with arguably the most impressive performance coming from two narrow flushed seconds. A marketer’s dream approaching a race of this magnitude, knowing that all the “big” ones are spot-on for the event, and that in the need to avenge themselves, there’s a battle-within-a-battle looming for the connections of Smanjemanje and Pierre Jourdan.