Click above to watch the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup
(Footage : Tellytrack/JC Photographics/GoldCircle)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN CUP 2009
At a race meeting dubbed by long-time Jockey Club Chairman Alick Costa as the “buzziest” on a Gauteng racecourse in a decade, the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup lived up to its billing as the centre piece of a great day’s entertainment. While the result of the Cup was not quite as the betting suggested, it was very much a form result with the unbeaten Pierre Jourdan emerging with the laurels after a sustained chase up the murderous Turffontein straight, all the more testing for the rain that bucketed down Friday evening.
This was a triumph for one of the Ready To Run Sale’s biggest supporters of the past 5 years, the Alexanders, and their partner Italian-born Emilio Baisero. The Catholic origins of the connections were strongly evident in a winner’s circle crowded out by brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins and grandchildren, and in an emotionally charged trophy presentation.
Gallant in defeat, and as game as a Summerhill hare, the filly Fisani broke from the Number 14 gate and did it the tough way in her attempt to make every post a winning one, whilst she was chased home by her stable mate the Mike de Kock-trained Havasha and the Fitri Hay-owned Mahubo, like the Melbourne Cup third on Tuesday, conditioned by Herman Brown Jnr, looking none the worse for his intercontinental exertions.
For the runner-ups principal owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, there was both triumph and tragedy in the outcome, although he will be the first to admit that breeding the winner at the expense of his filly, is about the sweetest consolation His Highness could think of. For the record, Sheikh Mohammed has the unique distinction of having bred consecutive winners of the Cup in last year’s winner Smangaliso.
He is partnered in his ownership of the filly by past Jockey Club Chairman Ronnie Napier and his wife Bev, and Summerhill Stud. Pedigree buffs will be interested to know that Fisani is a half-sister to the triple group One performer, Catmandu, and the top Eastern Cape athlete Ecoile Militaire, from the celebrated Moller family of English Derby hero Tianoso, Irish Oaks ace, Give Thanks and Italian Derby winner Old Country. You can’t lick genetics!