(Photos : Summerhill Stud)
THE CANON GOLD CUP
26 June 2010
The events of this past week, and the anticipation of next weekend’s national stayers championship, the Canon Gold Cup (Gr.1) are a poignant reminder of the potency of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale. No fewer than nine graduates of the sale occupied racing’s most valuable piece of real estate, the Number One box between Monday and Sunday, including a four-timer at the Vaal, and a stunning debut by Ridethebreezefor Joey Ramsden. For some, that’s a six month tally, yet it happened in a week here, and all from a single sale (we’ve listed them at the bottom of this note).
They may have rescheduled the Gold Cup to a spot with which this historic event is completely unfamiliar (26th June, as opposed to the first Saturday in August), and while that may have played some havoc with the programmes of a number of entries, its nonetheless quite a field, headed up by last year’s Champion Stayer, Mokaro. He’s not at the top of the boards though, as that honour belongs to Santa at 3-1, followed by three joint favourites, Ancestral Fore,Thanks John, and the three year old Summerhill-consigned Ready To Run graduate, Winning Leap.
Not too many three year olds are entered for these marathon events, yet this fellow already has the Gold Bowl (Gr.2) on his C.V, which he won as long ago as the first weekend in April. But here, in the Gold Cup, he’s bidding to rewrite the history books, as the first and only three year old to win the event. No doubt, the bookmakers know that history is against him; otherwise he could well be clear at the top of the boards, given his recent record. What they seem to have forgotten, is where he came from!
Winning Leap was an R85,000 graduate of the 2008 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, a somewhat angular, gawky individual at the time, but a horse with an immaculate pedigree and his father, Labeeb’s economy of movement, as well as his style.
There’s no doubt he has the stamina: the question is, the 55.5 kgs he has to carry against the nation’s best stamina runners. Can it be realistically expected of a three year old, that he can lump such an impost to victory?
We’ll bring you more news of Winning Leap’s march to the Gold in the course of the week.
Winners Monday 14 June 2010 - Sunday 20 June 2010
CHEN YIN HO