Rich Girl - a scintillating performance from a budding superstar for Markus Jooste / Gold Circle (p)
EMPERORS PALACE SUMMER READY TO RUN SALE
Summerhill Stud, Mooi River
Tuesday 18 February 2014
Summerhill CEOIt always helps to have a few winners when you are going into a sale: it renews your faith in your product, and it triggers the adrenalin of customers. It is especially helpful when your catalogues are mired in a mountainous backlog because of a postal strike, not for the first time either, I should add. For my generation at least, catalogues are the sine qua non of the sales game, not only for the family histories they display, but particularly for note-taking, for those judges who record their ratings, and for the sentimental types like me, for posterity’s sake. Yes, we have the internet, and at the click of a button, it’s all there for us, the gallop, the “page”, the block pedigree, the works, but it’s just not the same. For the benefit of the sale (and these horses deserve it,) we can only hope that every customer out there has a greater understanding of technology and how it works, than I do.
I have to say, I’m not fond of “whiners”, so to have to kick off the morning with a gripe offends me, but I guess I’m not alone in my bellyfull of the never-ending turf wars which labour seems to wage with itself, and the apparent inability of labour and business to find one another. In 35 years here, our wage determinations have never taken more than a couple of hours, and it’s because we’re open with our people, and they know what the business can and cannot afford.
This was supposed to be a celebration, so let’s get out the bubbles and get on with it. Going into the weekend, our expectations for the races were muddled: a couple were making their Group race debuts, and there was little collateral form on which to gauge them. Others like Pej, had been off for several months, and their well-being would have to be taken on trust. Yet another, a R550,000 Rock Of Gibraltar graduate of November’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run sale, was an unknown quantity, though the talk from the yard was bullish. In the event, seven of them turned up, the bulk of them “smoking”.
The first was a scintillating performance from a budding superstar. Rich Girl arrived for Markus Jooste with a roar of finely-tuned torque in the juvenile maiden, looking every bit the Allan Robertson Championship (Gr.1) filly we always hoped she would be. The style was imperious, the manner contemptuous. Google It finally found his way in Joburg with a demolition job by 8¼ lengths for Sean Tarry; Wattalotigot turned two thirds and two seconds into a 1¼ length “smothering” in the first at Greyville for Pat Lunn; Oaks heroine Dylan’s Promise strangled the breath out of a marathon Pinnacle Stakes field which included Derby runner-up Gothic for Alesh Naidoo, Mayesh Chetty and Charles Laird; Pej ran a competitive bunch of fillies off their feet to claim the hat-trick for the latter; Euphoria led home a charge of Summerhill graduates by 1¾ for Johan Janse Van Vuuren, while Alareef got the better of the judge’s decision for Mike de Kock to round out the seven.
No doubt, with the Summer Ready To Run looming here on the farm next Tuesday, you’ll forgive us the commercial: all seven were graduates of the Ready To Run programme, which was not only born here at Summerhill, but in the opportunities it’s given our horses, and the pleasures it’s brought to our customers, it has been one of the mainstays in our nine championships so far.