SUMMER READY TO RUN SALE
22 February 2012
It’s a no-brainer. Racing is about running, not walking, and the advantage the customer gets from the benefit of seeing a horse run, is like hindsight. It might not be quite 20/20, but it’s not far off. Besides, by their nature, Ready To Run sales are staged when the horses are nearly there : “ready to run”. Especially when the sale is in February. Horses bought a year ago as yearlings and put into training, have already cost their owners something approaching R100,000, whereas if you buy today, you could be running within a few months (and in some cases, weeks).
Then there’s arguably the most compelling factor of all. The Ready To Run, pound-for-pound (and despite its limited numbers,) has produced more Black Type performers than any other sale. For the past two years, it’s thrown up the leading earners in the country, Pierre Jourdan and Igugu. Seventeen millionaires have graduated from the ranks of its candidates in recent seasons, three of them international celebrities.
Wednesday’s sale has popped out of the bottle, genie-like, driven by the success of some outstanding runners, who for whatever reason, were not previously sold. Unwanted in a previous auction ring, late maturers, injury or defective engineering, cost them, and from the ranks of those of the past, have emerged some outstanding performers. That’s the beauty about the Ready To Run, where horses like Pierre Jourdan, Emperor Napoleon, Black Wing and Imperial Dispatch, whom the good Lord did not treat that well when it came to dishing out legs, showed at the gallops that if anything, the way they were made, enhanced their style. The same fate befell J J The Jet Plane, remember. Others to have been left behind on the farm include the two multi-millionaire international campaigners, Imbongi and Paris Perfect, millionaires Emperor Napoleon, Bold Ellinore, Hear The Drums, Catmandu, Vangelis and Amphitheatre, and big Stakes performers Salutation, Ecole Militaire, Nondweni, Coastal Waltz, Similitude and Dignify.
Last year, Summerhill sent a draft of horses to Shongweni, and while the market appeared to suspect their purpose, given the poor prices they made, those that were close to them, knew there’d be some runners. The Sophomore Sprint hero, Sithela, who took out a brace of Group One performers on his big day, cost R50,000, and only a training track accident cost him his life and probable favouritism for the R2 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup. Among the rest, there’ve been two first-time winners, another Durban winner which cost R7,000 and one at R12,000, and some promising performances from the likes of Isipho and Gida, who’ve given notice of budding careers. None of them cost more than R50,000. Students of pedigree though, will tell you this catalogue is much the stronger, and the DVD promises to endorse that.
The Summerhill team is confident there are horses here that will make them proud.
It’s worth mentioning too, nine of them hold tickets for the R2,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup in November. And then there are the stallions, Kahal who’s third leading active sire at the moment, the perennial “General”, Muhtafal, and the two promising young stallions, Stronghold and Mullins Bay. Those alone underwrite the quality of the 2012 Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale.
Enquiries Michael Holmes Bloodstock (031 309 5522). Sale commences 11am Wednesday 22nd February at Summerhill Stud.