Mick Goss receives the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup winning breeder trophy on behalf of Summerhill Stud
from Emperors Palace COO Bob Yearham
(Photo : JC Photos)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN CUP
Turffontein, Turf, 1400m
2 November 2013
Summerhill CEOFor a race that was recently stripped by NHA of its accruals to breeders and stallions for statistical purposes, the 7th running of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup has once again stood its ground not only against the Group One form of the past season, but to the outcomes of Saturday’s Group races. Of course, there’ll be all sorts of opinions about that, but no-one can deny the facts, because they’re in black and white. Lined up on Saturday were five Group One runners of the past season (Umgiyo, Judicial, Admiral’s Eye, Dover Beach and the “Cup” heroine, Winter Star), while the collateral from Saturday’s form was Pej’s neck second to Copiaco on their previous start; Copiaco was narrowly beaten in the Starling Stakes (Gr.3), while Pej picked up the R100,000 cheque on offer for eighth place in the Cup (though it has to be said, from a 14 barrier slot.)
In the event, Winter Star took the Cup’s honours as well as the R1.25million cheque in convincing style for “rookie” trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren and his young Mauritian client, Vicky Veeramootoo, a memorable training feat, not only for the fact that her trainer has only been in the business a short while, but also given that she went down with a virus in the week immediately before, and went into the race “cold”. Judicial was third, Arcetri Pink fifth and Admiral’s Eye sixth, while Pej was eighth, as we’ve said.
This was a high-class renewal of a race that long ago established itself as decidedly Group-class, and if you consider not only what it does for racing, the “buzz” it brings to the track and the competition it has provided for the nation’s “Big 3”, it’s a sad day for the game that there’s not a penny’s worth of recognition by the NHA for either the breeder or the sire of any candidate in the field. All the more so, because in every other major racing country in the world, these sales races have been identified for what they’re worth, and their accruals count for every bit as much as any other race in those countries. Remember the establishment’s outcry when Kerry Packer revolutionised cricket, and what that did for the game? You wonder what cricket would have done to survive if it hadn’t been for Packer’s innovations, and while the purists prophesied the death knell for the gentlemens’ game, all that’s happened is that it developed an entirely new fan base and now we have 20/20! To hell with it all: the “buzz” on the course and the result of the sale tells us that at least someone out there appreciates what the Cup has done for the game.