Watch Salutation winning the Spook Express Handicap (L)
(Image : JC Photos - Footage : Tellytrack)
“It’s probably fair to say that at the price, you’re unlikely to find these gems anywhere else in the world beyond South Africa, and what is even more unlikely, is that you might buy them from any other nation’s champion breeders.”
When the debutante, Adapt Or Die scooted home on her first racecourse appearance last Tuesday, she gave notice of two things. The first is, she’ll be back for more, and the second is that you don’t have to own a fortune to own a good racehorse. A R5,000 bargain-buy by local trainer, Deon Visser at the inaugural Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale in our School of Management Excellence, the daughter of Way West recouped her purchase price in the first few strides of this 1000m dash, and the future looks bright for those with a connection.
Yet Adapt Or Die is by no means the only fairytale emerging from this sale; before we get to its luminaries, let’s share an admission. This farm sale is a hotchpotch of liquorice allsorts, the late-maturers, those that couldn’t make an earlier engagement through injury or illness, the unwanted urchins of a former salesring, and those with faulty engineering. The results of the sale tell us that none of these things is a bar to racecourse success, the good ones already including Gauteng Guineas-placed No Worries, the ill-fated Sophomore Sprint ace, Sithela (R45,000), the five-time winner Gida (R35,000) whose name you’ll find these days in Group race company, since sold to Mauritius for a reported R250,000; the four-time winner, Maluti (R5,000); and Corredor, who, fresh off a brace of recent victories (R40,000), earned his Black type bracket behind the country’s best three-year-old, Capetown Noir, in the Byerly Turk (Gr.3) on Saturday.
It’s probably fair to say that at the price, you’re unlikely to find these gems anywhere else in the world beyond South Africa, and what is even more unlikely, is that you might buy them from any other nation’s champion breeders. Yes, we need to get the big scorers to pay the bills here, but we must never forget, they all enjoy a common upbringing, and the will-to-win is inbred at Summerhill. Sunday afternoon at Turffontein that much was evident when the R50,000 purchase, Salutation, bolted home in the Spook Express Handicap (Listed), taking her earnings over the R900,000 mark for her intrepid owner Peet Diedericks. By no means alone in the bargain basement, Van Der Scaler (R10,000) trotted up for Braam van Huysteen in Durban, while Tributary (R10,000) put two lengths between herself and her field in Cape Town.
By way of contrast, impressive as any on a weekend of outstanding performances, was Blueridge Mountain, making her first start since taking out the Majorca Stakes (Gr.1) on J&B Met day: this R2million Summerhill graduate of the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale in 2011 alongside the S.A.Classic (Gr.1) crackerjack, Love Struck looks set not only for a big Champions’ Season, but for a career likely to pitch her against the best in the world in November’s Breeders Cup series in the United States.