Trainer Mark Dixon studies the Ready To Run catalogue
(Photo : Heather Morkel)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN GALLOPS
Summerhill Stud, Mooi River
Friday 19th October 2012
One of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run’s most successful “pickers” (if not the most successful) is Durban trainer, Mark Dixon. Besides current “four-from-four” star SHOWMETHEWAY, Dixon has had an unparalleled four runners from five renewals of what is now the R2.5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, including the inaugural hero, UMNGAZI, who did it at the expense of subsequent Champion IMBONGI. Remember Clyde Basel’s frantic call from the commentary box “Umngazi, Imbongi, the two Zulus” in a history-making charge for the biggest “Breeze Up” prize in the world?
In his stable newsletter this week, Dixon reminded us of his thoughts: “Speaking of Sales we have the Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sales coming up on the 2nd and 4th of November. We have bought some really good, sound horses on this sale - Namely UMNGAZI (Gr 3 winner), PRIZE FLOWER (5 wins), BELLAGIO (6 wins), GREEN AFRICA (4 wins) and most recently SHOWMETHEWAY. I particularly like this sale as the horses all do a “Breeze Up” so one is able to see how the horse moves and the really athletic ones who possess a decent turn of foot stand out. I always go to the stables directly after the Breeze Up to check the horses’ legs and those with decent legs who have stood up to their preparation generally will be sound horses. I won the inaugural running of the Ready to Run Cup with Umngazi for owners Bruce Lin and Frank Wu when it was run for a stake of R500k. It is now being run for an astounding R2.5 million with tenth place paying R50k. Only graduates of the Ready to Run Sale can qualify to run in the race which is a huge incentive. In the past my pick of the sales have been horses like FISANI and EXTRA ZERO who have not been at the top end of the market, but have been out of my reach when R200k has been my limit.
Both these fillies ran second the years they contested the Cup and both went on to win feature races. My pick last year was a horse called COOKIE MONSTER who is a strapping athletic son of Kahal and I was the under bidder on this colt. I had already gone R50k more than I had for him and he was sold for R360k. He has run 4 times for 3 places and a win and will no doubt be taking his place in this year’s field and should relish every bit of the 1450m the race is run over. This year I would like to put together a syndicate so that I can hopefully find another Umngazi and the syndicate members can all enjoy the thrill of racing for a stake of R2.5 million. Hayley and I will be attending the gallops which will take place at Summerhill on the 19’th of October. This is a really good day out so please feel free to join us. I will be doing a short list after the gallops which I will email out to everyone, so please start giving it some thought and let me know if you are keen to be involved”.