Click above to experience Imbongi’s last two runs in the
John Bovington Memorial Criterion Stakes and Ascot Summer Mile Stakes
(Footage : YouTube)
DE KOCK IMPRESSED : IMBONGI IS ARLINGTON MILLION BOUND
Emperors Palace Ready to Run graduate, unwanted in the sales ring, turned adversity to advantage when he won the first of two Guineas in May last year. His rags to riches story saw him beat the pants off multiple Group One winner, Russian Sage, in the KZN version of the Guineas. He then took matters to another level, when he beat Horse of the Year, Pocket Power, and three other Group One winners with consummate ease, in the Drill Hall Stakes.
Inevitably this led to his purchase by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, and Imbongi has become an international traveller ever since. Taking in Dubai, Hong Kong and now the UK, on the way to a Graded Stakes win at UK racing’s headquarters, Newmarket, three weeks ago. Imbongi was a fast closing third back at Ascot in the Summer Mile (Gr2) on Saturday when taking on two of the first three past the post in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1). Beaten a neck and a neck, he inspired his legendary handler, Mike de Kock, to decree that his next mission, subject to the usual qualifications, will be one of America’s greatest turf events, the Arlington Million.
Not bad for a fellow who failed to elicit a single bid when he took his place at the Emperors Palace Ready to Run sale eighteen months ago!