(Image : Heather Morkel/Top Travel)
“The Indomitable Spirit of South African Racegoers”
Marikana, mangaung, madness. Nkandla, New York, nervousness. That was the atmosphere surrounding the 2012 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, yet it turned out to be a fourth record in the past five years, posting gains of 29% in average and 32% in aggregate, which probably makes it the best-performing sale in relative terms in the world this year.
Quite clearly, racing fans love the whole concept, starting with the accessibility to online information on the candidates, the gallops and the judging panel, the competition for places in the big race and the attendant publicity, the celebrity cocktail party and the new link with royalty, and the pizazz which comes with the Emperors Palace connection. And then of course, they love the “dough” too, which goes with racing’s most beautiful trophy. There are probably other dimensions to the appeal of the event, including being able to pick your fancies on their gallops rather than on their walks, and the saving six to nine months in keep costs, and for the more precocious ones, there is the possibility of seeing them on the racetrack in a couple of weeks.
“But the one thing we tend to forget is the indomitable spirit of South African racegoers, who’ve swept aside the air of uncertainty which occupies the world at the moment; it’s this spirit and the sense of foresight of our countrymen that keeps the chins up, and the numbers at the sale go up correspondingly. I think we need to salute them, and remind ourselves again how lucky we are to be South Africans,” said Mick Goss from his car on the way home to Summerhill’s Mooi River base.