The Summerhill Gallops
(Image : Hartford House/Summerhill Stud)
“TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN RACING”
Timing is everything in racing, and with the Emperors Palace Ready To Run gallops scheduled for Friday next week at Summerhill, a fortuitous boost would serve as a great advertisement.
Whether they are victorious or not, the fact that this weekend sees an assembly of high quality Ready To Run graduates entered for their first prep runs of the season, advertises the sale in its own way. At Turffontein on Saturday, the Joburg Spring Challenge (Gr.3) and the Joburg Fillies & Mares Challenge (Gr.3) sees no fewer than four Ready To Run stars lining up, while the two Pinnacle Stakes straddling the Features, include a Gold Bowl hero in Winning Leap, a Merchants ace in Arabian Mist, a dual Stakes winner in Battlestar Express, and a top performer in Hurricane Force, coming to the party, while Greyville is host to the Michaelmas Handicap where the top weight is Keats Drift.
Reverting to the features for the moment, last season’s Highveld “firelighter”, Pierre Jordan makes his seasonal return, alongside the horse that was runner-up in both the Gauteng and KZN Guineas, Havasha, while among the younger brigade, the unbeaten Galileo sophomore, Igugu, joins an auspicious cast for the Fillies and Mares challenge with fellow Ready To Run graduate, Mgedi.
Looking at prospective candidates for this year’s R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, we see the Mauritian-owned Single Tempo strutting his talents in the opener, while the impressive Way West filly, Honolulu, aims to make it two in a row in the fifth.
Talking of next week’s events (on which there’ll be bundles of news in the course of the week), including pen pictures of all the Ready To Run candidates trialling at Summerhill this Saturday before the gallops proper) we’re anticipating a throng of visitors to the farm for the big day (Friday 15th October). We already know of guests from four countries outside South Africa, who’ve signalled their intent to be here, while Thursday night is the scene for a coming-together of a fistful of the nation’s celebrity horsemen. If you’re wanting to rub shoulders with these guys, you’d want to get hold of Hartford House urgently to make your dinner reservation. Sadly, there’s no longer any room at the inn itself, but it’s possible you might still get dinner at South Africa’s No 1 restaurant.
Proceedings for Thursday evening kick off with a Horsemen’s opening of the new Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence (not quite complete, but in good enough nonetheless), a “breathtaker” by the leading traditional dance troupe in Africa, and a meal to knock your socks off. The bulk of the judges (Mike de Kock, Dean Kannemeyer, Joey Ramsden, Michael Roberts, Jehan Malherbe) are entering their fourth year as such, and will be presented with their honours certificates and some special gear to honour the event.
The Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale
TBA Sales Complex, Sunday 7 November
Summerhill Gallops, Friday 15 October
Six cheque payment scheme.
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