Click above to watch Double Dash on Cape debut
(Footage : Tellytrack)
COMPLIMENTS TO THE STRENGTH OF LAST YEAR’S READY TO RUN DRAFT
The 2008 version of the Ready to Run sale came off an unprecedented high a week ago, with exceptional performances from the four chief protagonists for this year’s Emperors Palace Ready to Run Cup, which at R1,5 million has maintained its status as the fourth richest race in the nation. There must’ve been those who’d been lulled into a sense of believing they were a cut above anything else in the field, and that they could reasonably expect to take home a major share of the spoils. Meaning it just wasn’t possible to see a repeat.
Just as we were beginning to believe that the compliments to the strength of last year’s draft had all been paid, and that the next big statement on the quality of Summerhill breds would be the ‘Cup’ itself, the events of this week turned everything on its head. First, Charles Laird stepped out a R1 million graduate in Muhtafal’s son, Blue Voyager, who strode away on his race course debut by three lengths, relatively unextended.
As soon as the “Voyager” put his hand up, Charles took another to the track on Thursday in the form of Bhusende, and while he cautioned punters before the race that the horse was probably three weeks off ready, as the son of Australian champion sire, Flying Spur, set foot on the track, you could see the class. He came home under a hand ride from Anton Marcus, putting away some well-fancied sorts in the process, and he also joins the fray next Saturday.
Before the meeting was out, Ernie Anderson stepped out Ivan Snyman’s Labeeb colt, Nyakatho, who flattened some fair form by eight lengths, in the process telling us that whatever Blue Voyager and Bhusende had done during the week, he could do just as well. No doubt, when the judges meet on Tuesday to settle the final field, they’ll have him among them.
But that wasn’t the end. Richard Fitzgerald has been nothing if not an exceptional customer of Summerhill, and he was unfortunate following the 2008 sale to lose the Labeeb half brother to the Gold Cup hero, Desert Links, in a float collision a day later. Determined to turn that around, Richard put up his hand at R410 000 again last year, this time for another Labeeb from the family of Pick Six and Bridal Paths, and on Saturday, Garth Puller sent out Double Dash at Kenilworth against some excellent form, for the first time over a mile. Young Chris Puller never moved on him riding him hands-and-heels, as he strode away in impressive style. Lamentably, this one’s not destined for the “Cup”, but like the other three, he looks like a “Black type” horse in the making.
We know that customers already have consummate faith in the product we send to the Ready to Run, so we’re not trying to prove that point. What is encouraging from the events of this week, is the strength and depth of the horses that’ve stepped out since the sale, many of them indicating their worth as potential big race performers. For the record, thus far we’ve had 26 individual winners from the Summerhill draft alone, and there are at least 18 among the placed horses thus far, who look like they could become “motor cars” in the future.
We know you’re expecting this, but there are more where those came from. We look forward to your visit to Block A during the course of this week, where it will be our pleasure!