Pierre Jourdan
Pierre Jourdan

2008 Summerhill Ready To Run graduate, Pierre Jourdan

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)


Turffontein, South Africa

5 November 2011

What a fantastic month of racing November promises to be! The action kicks off at Turffontein Saturda with the R2,000,000 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup over 1400m and R600,000 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600mThe Citizen International Jockeys’ Challenge between South Africa and the World team follows a week later and the R2,000,000 Sansui Summer Cup brings the month to a magnificent climax on Saturday 26 November.

The Charity Mile race day has grown into a festival of racing since its inception in 2003 and now boasts twelve races including five features and racing fans will be treated to more than six hours of high-class action. The most intriguing race on the day is the highly prized Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, an event that offers a mega payday to graduates of the previous year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, with total prize money of R2,000,000 paying down to 10th spot.

South African Champion trainer Mike de Kock plays a strong hand for Cup glory with a formidable stable including Australian imports Dansili Express (AUS) and Frontino Gold (AUS) as well as the unbeaten Red Barrel. Sean Tarry’s classy Australian import, Verrochio (AUS), who won convincingly on his second start, looks well above average.

There are a number of fillies in the Cup and the pick is likely to be Roy Magner’s runner, Kinematic Countess. She has already contested nine races, so has more racecourse experience than many of her rivals. The Sean Tarry-trained Way West filly, Extra Zero, stands out. She certainly has the ability to add a few extra zero’s to Tarry’s bank balance and with 6 runs under her belt has the experience to boot. Interestingly, she has a sister in the folowing day’s sale, lot 65 Negev.

Look out too for the Cape raider, Dean Kannemeyer-trained, Admiral John Peter. Although a tough task, Dean’s father, Peter Kannemeyer, successfully raided Gauteng with Over The Air many years ago.

If victory were to fall to any of the Australia-bred runners, Sunday’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale at the TBA Sales Complex will see an even huger demand for the imported prospects on offer.

Betting World has Red Barrel at 2/1, Verrochio at 4/1, Dansili Express at 9/2, Extra Zero at 7/1 and Frontino Gold at 12/1.

Mike de Kock is also going all out to win the Charity Mile and has five of the 16 runners carded including Rudra, Kavanagh, Welwitschia (GB), Empenoso Henn (ARG) and 2010 Summer Cup winner, Flirtation. Champion jockey Anton Marcus has the ride on British-bred filly Welwitschia, while stable jockey Anthony Delpech is sticking with Kavanagh, who he rode for the first time in a 1400m sprint recently.

Kavanagh seems to do best when saved for a late effort and Delpech gave the flashy colt a perfect ride that saw him beat Two Tone by an easy length. There’s a view that Kavanagh doesn’t really stay 1600m, but he’s capable of running a huge race if Delpech makes his move late. Nevertheless, the talk is of Welwitschia. Six months younger than South African-bred four-year-olds, this British-bred filly is now catching up fast and beat Dancewiththedevil in good style in a 1450m race on the Turffontein inside track recently. She will find Dancewiththedevil a much tougher opponent on this standside track and it’s worth noting that Dancewiththedevil crushed Welwitschia by four lengths over this 1600m in the Empress Club Stakes in April. Welwitschia is now theoretically 3.5kg better off (the equivalent of 3.50 lengths).

Several other runners have strong chances, notably the Gary Alexander-trained Ready To Run graduate, Pierre Jourdan, runner-up to Igugu in this year’s Vodacom Durban July, the Sean Tarry-trained Kahal colt, The Mouseketeer, winner of the Emerlad Cup in September, and the Kahal gelding outsider, Paul Gadsby-trained Black Wing.

Betting World has Welwitschia at 5/2, Pierre Jourdan at 7/2, Kavanagh at 4/1, Dancewiththedevil at 5/1 and The Mouseketeer at 14/1.

Extracts from Tab Online, Business Day and Gold Circle