R1,5 MILLION EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN CUP
7 NOVEMBER 2009
The world’s press has been banging on about Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphead infinitum, and for a moment we looked like forgetting ourselves. At Summerhill, we’re getting ready for the 4th richest race in Africa, and it’s time for us to refocus on the R1.5M Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, scheduled for the 7th November, the day before the sale of the same name.
Big in terms of developments has been the seemingly endless stream of winning prospective candidates, who’ve put their hands up for inclusion in the line up. Weekend after weekend in the past few months, we’ve reported on sparkling new performances, and this weekend was no exception.
There’ve been whispers emanating from the Gary Alexander yard of the emergence of a young superstar, and Saturday saw Pierre Jourdan turn up at the inner track at Turffontein for his racecourse debut. This is a challenging venue, even for the tried-and-tested, so it was no surprise to see the fledgling trailed off in the early stages, yet such was his ‘toe’ that he swooped around the field as they came off the false rail, mowing them down as he went on to win by 1.5 lengths. Nobody deserves this more than the Alexanders, whose purchases at the READY TO RUN have exceeded 10 every year for the past several, and of course, they have in tow here the insatiable enthusiast Emilio Baisero as their owner.
As if to prove the Summerhill claim that there’s a horse for every person in the READY TO RUN, at R60,000, (which he pretty much recovered on Saturday) Pierre Jourdan epitomised the word ‘vindication’ with his effort.
At the other end of the spectrum, Markus and Ingrid Jooste’s R300,000 acquisition, the beautifully bred Kwela-Kwela, got up in a breathtaking flurry at Clairwood on Sunday, after once again conceding the start to a fairly deep field. While she’s a daughter of Muhtafal, who’s inclined to produce them quicker rather than stouter, she’s a sister to two stakes winners over a distance of ground, and she’s from a sister to the Gold Cup hero, Desert Links. To boot, she reminds us a lot of Muhtafal’s one-time Oaks winner, Veiled Essence, and as there’s limitless stamina in her female line, it wouldn’t surprise us if distance was her métier. That being the case, she couldn’t be in better hands than those of Joey Ramsden, already trainer of a Gold Cup winner, and recently elevated to the prestigious position of panel selection member for next week’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Gallops(11am at Summerhill on Friday 16th October).