mabhalane clairwood racecourse 13 september 2009 video
mabhalane clairwood racecourse 13 september 2009 video

Click above to watch Mabhalane

(Footage : Tellytrack)


The Sporting Post reported last week that if one is to follow the short history of the R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, then the winner of this rich and prestigious prize will be a relative outsider, hailing from a relatively small racing stable in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fifteen graduates from last year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale have already posted Maiden victories, including the early “talk’’ horses; Trafalgar Legacy (Basil Marcus), Havasha (Mike de Kock) and Sicoco (Ormond Ferraris).

But the Ready To Run Cup will always be the type of race tailor made for an upset due to its scheduling right in the middle of the three-year-old thoroughbred’s growth and improvement period. Mark Dixon (Umngazi, 7-1) and Michael Miller (Smangaliso, 14-1) were the first two success stories.

Could this year’s “lurker’’ be I’Lollipopfrom Kum Naidoo’s Summerveld yard, or will the pendulum swing towards Gauteng, where Tyrone Zackey’s Smanjemanje has already made a big impression and Tony Nassif hopes to stake a claim with last Sunday’s fluent winner, Mabhalane?

Nassif, chuffed with his R150 000 purchase, tells : “Mabhalane is the most expensive horse I ever bought and I thank Mike Mort and my brother Shalita for that. He’s a stocky horse, still coming into his own, but he’s intelligent. He won very well last weekend. Anthony Delpech reported he had a lot of horse under him despite having to race to beat a bad draw. The Ready To Run is great, I don’t mind running a place if we can’t win!’’

Vaal-based Leon Erasmus has already had a lot of fun with his R25 000 purchase, Second World, a winner and placed several times. “He’s one helluva horse and he gives of his best,’’ said Erasmus recently.

Ready To Run Gallops Panel

It’s a tough business recruiting panelists for a job like the Ready to Run Gallops, principally because those wishing to buy obviously would prefer to keep their selections under a bushel.

However, the evening at Hartford and the prestige which the public have come to attach to serving on the panel has guaranteed this year’s version of a formidable gathering.  Those that have already put their hands up include Michael Azzie, Mike de Kock, Graeme Hawkins, Jehan Malherbe, Craig Peters, Joey Ramsden and Sean Tarry.

The panelists will be entertained once again at Hartford House on 15 October, the eve of the Gallops, and a feature of this year’s panel will be a scoreboard tallying the hit rate of the respective panelists, to see if there’s an emerging Champion in the making. For what it’s worth, there have been a number of attendees over the years, who claim to have an even better strike rate, so the pressure is coming from all sides.

Dates to remember :

Summerhill Breeze-Ups : 16 October

Turffontein Breeze-Ups : 18 October

Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup : 7 November

Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale : 8 November