READY TO RUN GALLOPS AT SUMMERHILL
Friday 17 October 2014
It's Gallops Day today, and there’s a reason so many of the country’s biggest-hitters are mooching around the stable yards here at Summerhill. The biggest owners in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KZN are all part of a racing brigade that’s flown, bussed or driven into the Mooi River precinct for this morning’s fireworks. With such a precious cargo on board, it’s as well we’re out of range of the aerial bombardment going on in Iraq. Former KZN Premier and Treasurer-General of the ANC, Dr. Zweli Mkhize is here to open the proceedings, acknowledging the roles the racing fraternity plays in the broader economy and that of our School Of Equine Management Excellence in the training of the industry’s future leaders.
Over the centuries, there’ve been many reasons for the influx of people into our region, nations waged war for its spoils, just as the Sharks and the Dolphins do to this day, but these guys are here for the horses, and our only plea to the pilots that delivered them, is that they get them home safely and deliver them to Sandton on the last Friday in October. Meanwhile though, look at the history of the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, and especially the log for this year’s aspirants, and you begin to get a feel for the frenetics that landed them here. Summerhill sold five (71%) of the seven “Cup” heroes to date; twenty six (57%) of the top forty five on the current log for the richest prize in history (those with a shout, effectively; ten of the sixteen (62.5%) that would go to post if the cut-off was today, and five of the top seven in the betting.
We know these things are all matters of statistics, but last year we sold 97 of the 248 catalogued, and considering that Summerhill has 57 % on the cusp of a run from just 38 % of the catalogue, you begin to get an understanding of the pulling power of the present draft. The odds of getting a run with one of “ours”, is better than one in four.
History, they tell us, is the best teacher, and what’s interesting about the names of this year’s contenders, is that there is a certain repetition on the broadsheet. Five of them, Charles Laird, Gary Alexander, Johan Janse Van Vuuren, Mike de Kock and Mark Dixon, are former trainers of “Cup” aces, and each of them has a finger in this year’s pie. Markus Jooste has stood on the podium twice before, and his name pops up four times in the first eleven on the log in 2014, while Mike de Kock’s does the same in the top 14. Gavin Van Zyl has a strong hand with three of the aspirants, Charles Laird, Johan Janse Van Vuuren, Joey Soma, Michael Azzie and Adriaan Van Vuuren and Ready To Run stalwart, Louis Goosen, all hold a hand, while Gary Alexander tells us The Elmo Effect is the best thing since former victor, Pierre Jourdan.
The one thing you can never predict about a race for R3.85million, is the outcome: it’s all about big match “T”, and how the trainers and jockeys stand up to it: there’s no quarter given when they’re running for near enough R50 000 a second, and luck, even with the 800 metres of the Turffontein standside track to sort them out, still has to be on your shoulder. The other thing about young three year olds, is nobody knows who’s improving and at what rate, so we’ll have to give it another fortnight before we know our fate. What we do know though, is that you can’t win it if you don’t have a ticket, and with “stats” like this, you know where to get it.
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN CUP
Turffontein, Turf, 1400m
1 November 2014
Log as at 14 October 2014
|1||RICH GIRL (AUS)||F||104|
|11||ALIYSA'S PRIZE (ARG)||F||82|
|12||NISA'S MACHINE (AUS)||C||86|
|16||GOLD CUP GIRL||F||79|
|18||THE ELMO EFFECT||C||83|
|30||OI YOI YOI||F||75|
|33||RAZED IN BLACK||G||79|
Summerhill Runners denoted by yellow
National Horseracing Authority
Correct as at 14/10/14