(Photo : JC Photographics / Summerhill Stud)
“By its nature,
an event that excites and delights!”
Charl Pretorius www.racingweb.co.zaWe’re on the brink of another thrilling Emperors Palace Ready To Run Weekend, starting with the Ready To Run cocktail party this Friday evening, 5 November, followed by the fourth running of the Ready To Run Cup on one of the best race days on the calendar at Turffontein on Saturday, and the 2010 renewal of the Ready To Run Sale on Sunday. It may be relatively easy for racing’s marketers to promote new events, because fanatics in the sport are by their very nature curious, novelty-conscious and always on the lookout for new adrenaline highs.
However, when it comes to keeping an event constantly exciting and in the headline news over a period of time, they won’t get away with a few run-of-the-mill press releases and e-mails.
Why is it then that the Ready To Run gallops, the supporting sales concept, the Ready To Run Cup and the fanfare that accompanies it virtually promotes itself every year?
Is it the fact that Ready To Run graduates continue to win, week after week, and that the majority of them come from middle to lower price ranges? Or maybe that Summerhill’s formidable stallions, whose collective offspring is the heartbeat of this annual extravaganza, continue to hold their own on racetracks around the country? Not a week goes by without reminders of how rewarding racehorse ownership can be and how the Ready To Run Sale has the prepotency of making dreams come true, year after year.
The exploits of 2008 sales graduate Pierre Jourdan are well documented, and rising star Igugu has paid tribute to the 2009 sale every time she’s gone to the track.
Igugu fetched R1 million, her pedigree would command much more on an international sale. Pierre Jourdan was a R60,000 giveaway to shrewd buyers. Like any number of Ready To Run stars, he comes from a “less fashionable” background, in the same way as other considered “cheapies” Imbongi, Hear The Drums, Phunyuka, Winning Leap, Dynamite Mike, Catmandu, Thandolwami, and Fanyana, the best racehorses their respective sires ever produced.
Last Saturday Blue Voyager, another purchased at the 2008 sale, won his fourth race from 11 starts, defeating the likes of Earl Of Surrey, Autumn Gold, Cruso and Arabian Mist. His close relation Zulu Legend (by Solskjaer), was on Mike de Kock’s shortlist at the Ready To Run gallops a fortnight ago.
Tales Of Bravery lowered the colours of Pocket Power in a Pinnacle Stakes at Clairwood, reminding us of what a consistently terrific servant his sire Kahal has been to the South African racing industry. The Machavellian stallion will have 17 representatives at Sunday’s Sale including Saucy Savannah, an athletic half-sister to Grade 1 winner Pick Six.
There will be 164 two-year-olds to choose from, including colts and fillies by other leading local stallions like Al Mufti, Captain Al, Dynasty, Fort Wood, Western Winter, Jallad and Jet Master. Also on offer are smashing individuals by international sires Rock of Gibraltar, Royal Academy, Hussonet, Elusive Quality and Dansili.
In reality, there’s a horse for everyone in the Ready To Run, especially if you’re willing to back your own judgement.
The Ready To Run gallops can be viewed at
www.summerhill.co.za and www.tba.co.za.
Catalogues can be obtained from BSA’s Sales Complex at Gosforth Park
or online, at www.tba.co.za
The Sale starts at 2pm on Sunday, 7 November.