durban gold cup
durban gold cup

Durban Gold Cup

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

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The Sporting Post writes that there was a time when racehorse owners placed as much emphasis on the trophy at stake, as they did on the prize money. There is a generation of those who will recall that at one time, the Durban Gold Cup, as it was known in those days, rivalled anyone of the Durban July, the Metropolitan and the Summer Handicap for prestige, and while it always carried an attractive purse, the truth was, it was the Gold Cup itself that tantalized the entries.

Recognizing this, Summerhill’s Mick Goss has managed to draw his fellow stake-holders, Emperors Palace, Phumelela and Bloodstock South Africa, into contributing towards the best trophy in racing in an effort to enhance the offering connected with this year’s renewal of the R1,5million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.

“Some year’s ago, long-time Summerhill client, Alec Foster and I, decided to go in pursuit of one of the last remaining genuine Gold Cups in the Durban Turf Club’s vaults, and in the victory of Cereus and the half length second of Amphitheatre a few years later, it was a case of “mission accomplished” on the one hand, and “almost accomplished” on the other. It was all about the Cup itself, because long after the money’s has been spent, the owner still has the treasure of a keepsake. Just a few years back, Sotheby’s ran an auction which included a Durban Gold Cup which had been won by the Hartford-bred Salmon in 1945, and Summerhill had to pay an independent fortune to secure its piece of history.”

With this in mind, the organisers of this year’s renewal have a budget of R50 000 in mind, all of which will be allocated the very best trophy racing has to offer. At the suggestion of Clyde Basel, an appropriate floating trophy will be sourced from the spectacular assembly of disused “beauties” in the Phumelela cabinet.

Bloodstock South Africa’s Caroline Simpson has just issued the schedule of horses subscribed for the race. Judging by the performances of those that look likely qualifiers she says “this will by some distance, be the best renewal to date of a race which in its inaugural year produced some of the best performers of their generation”.

emperors palace ready to run sale 2009
emperors palace ready to run sale 2009

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