Click above to watch Imbongi winning the Zabeel Mile (Gr2)
(Photo : Andrew Watkins/ERA - Footage : Tellytrack)
…FISANI, PIERRE JOURDAN, IMBONGI, SMANJEMANJE
Just a week ago, the Summerhill team was rocked by the successes of Fisani and Pierre Jourdan respectively in the Gauteng Fillies and Colts Guineas, though it was not for a lack of faith in the horses themselves, but because you can never count on these things in real life.
The Breeder’s log though, tells us we must be doing something right, a statement endorsed empathically by Imbongi’s gutsy success in the R2 million Zabeel Mile (Gr.2) at Dubai’s Meydan racecourse on Friday evening. In the race (which included several internationally performed Group One winners), our man had to endure a severe bump at a critical stage in the straight, before gathering himself again and thrusting for the line in the typical pose we’d become accustomed to from the dual Guineas winner here in South Africa.
Thrilled at the outcome, Mike de Kock may well be encouraged to raise his sights with Imbongi, come Dubai World Cup night at the end of the month. Originally pencilled for a tilt at the $1 million Godolphin Mile (Gr.2), (which may be his best trip), de Kock is of the persuasion that we should only decide finally on which course to take once we’ve weighed up the opposition for the $5 million Dubai Duty Free. His reasoning is to entice several of the horses which might otherwise have remained in the Duty Free, and with the resolute way Imbongi was going on at the end of the Zabeel Mile, the extra furlong trip of the Duty Free may now be within his metier.
Either way, it’s a luxury to have the choice. Remember, last year Imbongi was a cruel victim of exclusion from both these events, even though he was higher rated than several of the horses that made the cut. There’s no excluding him this year though, after his Group victory in England’s Criterion Stakes and his performances in Dubai in 2010.
Imbongi was not alone though in showering praise on graduates of the Summerhill draft at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run sale. Among the weekend’s big achievers was Smanjemanje, who carried top weight of 60.5kgs to a four length demolition of his opponents in the R125 000 Egoli Three-Year-Old Milecloser, while Vangelis made it twelve victories with an almost impossible come-from-behind to snatch the spoils in the Eastern Cape’s feature event on Friday.
This train’s rumbling right now, and it looks like it’s got a new head of steam.