At a time when he was big business personified, we coined a phrase at Summerhill about racing and Harry Oppenheimer. While you could never beat him in the boardroom, on Saturdays at Turffontein, you always had a squeak as an owner, even if you were up against those battalions of bluebloods at Harry’s disposal. Put another way, racing is the great leveller; it gives the lie to the adage that above the ground we may be different, but under it we’re all equal. The truth is that while all the money in the world helps, it can never buy you finality in the racing success stakes, no more amplified than on Saturday at Clairwood where Lady Cougar (a R35,000 graduate of our Summer Ready To Run sale on the farm), scooted home for the Baroness Bergsma and Mike Miller on her first racecourse outing, at the expense of several well-fancied opponents.
A daughter of Solskjaer (who for a stallion who is represented by three current millionaires, exemplifies as graphically as anything, the anomalies of the stallion “fashion” trade), Lady Couger is the first runner from the Muhtafal mare Sthukuthezi, whose close relatives include the outstanding Woodruff-trained racehorses, Rip Curl and His Lordship, and she was only one of three quality performances in the week by graduates of the farm sale. The others were the KZN Breeders Million Mile hero, No Worries (now well-beyond the million mark in earnings), and Hana, who chalked-up her third victory for one of the sale’s biggest supporters, Brian and Yolanda Burnard and Van Zyl Inc. Of course, we know that this same sale coughed up the horse that chased Vercingetorix and Capetown Noir home in the KZN Guineas last season, Corredor (who also distinguished himself in the Million Mile, with a runner-up effort last season). This was by no means Mike Miller’s first “strike” at the sale; in its inaugural year, he got his itchy fingers onto I Got You Babe for five grand, and she’s now the winner of seven.
Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081
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