Emperors Palace Ready To Run Gallops at Summerhill Stud
(Photo : Leigh Willson)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN GALLOPS
Summerhill Stud, South Africa
11 October 2013
They came, they saw and they found them, from the four corners of the country, from the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK. When Emperors Palace boss, Bob Yearham, announced from the podium at the commencement of the Ready To Run gallops, that the R3million prize money for this year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup was by no means the end of his organisation’s ambitions for the event, you knew there was something big in the offing. The sponsors have seen this event grow into the richest race of its kind in the world, they’ve seen the quality of the horses grow incrementally, too, and they’re backing it with every fibre of their beings.
They know too, what it means to any event to have a King, a Queen and a Princess as patrons of the Sale and the “Cup” respectively, and now they have one of racing’s most respected politicians, former Finance Minister, Peter Miller, as Patron of the Gallops. That His Majesty was on a pilgrimage to see the Pope, but still had the grace to remember the occasion, says much not only for the gallops, but for the man himself. Heaven alone knows what you say to His Holiness, but we guess those are the kind of conversations Kings and Queens are born to have! While on the subject, I remember the first time I entered the sandstone gates of Hartford just as several hundred guests did on Friday. Along the drive, the old flower pots bearing the names of forty-eight champions, talked of a fading history; things were quieter these days, but I knew I’d arrived in the racehorse valhallah. The Hartford horses had infused the Ellises with the divinity of racing popes. Hidden away from the mortal world behind those great gates was the “great within”, as this imperial enclave was affectionately known. Raymond Ellis’ aura radiated outward with the mystery and power of any enthroned Holy Father.
It was pretty much the universal verdict of Friday’s judging panel, (and many of those gathered) that this was the best draft to take to the grass in Ready To Run history. When you think that thirty-one of the top 35 candidates for this year’s “Cup”, galloped at Summerhill last year, that’s telling you something. Dean Kannemeyer summed it up perfectly from the judge’s desk, announcing that buyers were “spoilt for choice”this year, and when Garth Puller complimented the jockeys on another step up, you knew this was the whole package.
Bloodstock South Africa’s Sales Manager, Caroline Simpson, knowing that interest in the sale had already reached such a level they’d y run out of catalogues at the TBA complex in Germiston, was urging gallops guests to conserve what they had, and return what they didn’t need. While that may mean both a re-run at the printers and something of an underestimation on the part of the bean-counters at the TBA, it says something for a sale that attracted just 20 attendees to its inaugural assembly twenty-seven seasons ago. Some were back again for a second look on Saturday, and from the hive of activity at the Summerhill yards yesterday, it’s apparent that in an unforgiving world, there are many who’ve forgotten the Biblical injunction against working on the Sabbath.
While those from Yellow Star and Balmoral will be applying the “polish” to their steeds for next Friday’s outing, the Summerhill, Far End and Ambleway strings will be grabbing some well-deserved “R&R”. Warren Bowles, who’s taken the filming and production of the gallops to new levels, assured us they’d be “live” by Sunday (go to www.summerhill.co.za, and click on the Ready To Run tab on the left hand side to view the gallops), while the DVDs will go out in two batches, the first lot carrying the Jo’burg and Summerhill editions today, and the final one, the composite of both, next Monday. With credit applications at unprecedented levels, several consignors have arranged to get their horses to Johannesburg next weekend, so that the “early birds can catch the worm”.
R3Million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup
Saturday 2nd November
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale
Lots 1-110 • Friday 1st November
Lots 111-248 • Sunday 3rd November