LATEST NEWS AND PHOTOS FROM BLOCK A
The sales ground came alive yesterday, and the frenetic energy was palpable. Racing at the Vaal did not deter Gauteng’s training fraternity from turning up in numbers, and both their grooms and the horses had a decidedly “knackered” look to them by sunset.
It will be even busier today, but that of course is our principle purpose.
With 110 horses owned by 169 different people across seven time zones, it takes an army of correspondents to keep our vendors abreast of developments.
At the same time, arrangements for tonight’s big Emperors Palace Cocktail Party, were celebrities, owners, trainers and jockeys with engagements in the R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, will be gathered. On display is the best trophy in racing, a spectacular goblet of pure silver, beautifully embossed in the old style. The trophy’s connectivity with Summerhill goes back to 1922, when its donor, King George V’s brother in law, the Earl Of Athlone was hosted by the erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister, Col George Richards at the farm.
As if that’s not enough for the plate, tomorrow heralds the big race. Elsewhere in this column you’ll find the betting, and that tells us just what an open affair it is. Sporting Post gives 13 of the 16 runners a chance of taking the spoils, and we’re proud to say that all 13 were graduates of the Summerhill draft last year. Indeed, fifteen of the sixteen entries in the race were.
Welcome Mbatha, better known to most of you as manager of the Summerhill Trading Store, but deployed in Johannesburg for the week’s events as commissar responsible for public relations and logistics, will have his hands full ferrying fans of the game, owners, bloodstock agents and our international guests, from the “Palace” to the racecourse and the salesground.