Mick Goss
From the commentary box, Craig Peters and Nico Kritsiotis were hard at the promotion of the first crops of the freshman stallions; they’d obviously done their homework ahead of the time.
— Mick Goss / Summerhill CEO

Chris van Niekerk made a telling remark at the conclusion of yesterday's gallops. He is of course, a man who's donned the mantle of Owner of the Year, but he was speaking here as chairman of Cape Thoroughbred Sales. As astute as they come, he knows that owning racehorses is a luxury in the world we live in, and he knows that while some are impervious to the state of global finances, there are others whose indulgence of their passions in the game calls for sacrifice. On the other side of the sales spectrum, he's sensitive to the plight of producers too, and he knows what it means to get the cash in the bank. So the gist of his statement was this:

  • To accommodate the needs of the buying bench, CTS would be continuing their 90 day credit policy, interest free, which means that purchasers would have until the 18th January to settle up. With a precocious type, you could be in the starting stalls by then.
  • At the same time, CTS will absorb the cost of this facility while sticking by their pledge to vendors of paying them within 30 days. Simply put, theirs is an act of generosity unmatched anywhere else, and they deserve acknowledgment for it.

I should mention that I've attended Ready To Run sales all over the world, and remembering the remoteness of yesterday's location and the logistics involved in achieving this, I have never seen a more beautifully appointed venue anywhere. For those of us who are in the business of horse-peddling, it's a comforting thought to know that having set the bar where it is, for these fellows, there's no turning back; it can only get better from here, though that's going to take some doing. A spectacular breakfast was accompanied by printed menus tantalizing attendees with the promise of a lunch from heaven; it didn't take a genius to explain the number of fans who stayed for the judges' to speak. 

CONSIDER YOUR VERDICT

We're all for pulling their legs on the good horses they've missed over the years, but it's a fact that with more than 300 years of collective experience at their disposal, our judges' panel has a remarkable hit rate of the ones they've uncovered. While we're about it, we should recognise that they share their wisdom willingly, gratuitously, and in disclosing their personal preferences, very generously, more so when we remember that the lots they've identified at the gallops are most likely the lots they'll be bidding on at the sale. Here they go:

That "big horse" not only changes your fortunes at the races, but he leaves his mark on the balances at your bank, and the prospect that either one (or God help us, both) could come home for Summerhill is what will keep us getting out of bed at five every morning for the next twenty four months.

We've always said of the Ready To Run that you "get what you see, not what you think you see", and that "there's a horse for everyone at the Ready To Run". That means different things to different people, depending on the size of their pockets, the sharpness of their instincts or the accuracy of their observations. 

The one reality of our sport is that money alone can't buy you the road to Eldorado: we all know how much it helps, but there is salvation in the recollection that throughout its history, and in particular in the steeds we've consigned from Summerhill, there was value in knowing that when a horse can run, it no longer matters who his Mom or his Dad are; if you just take the trouble to watch or to listen, you can still take home the undiscovered diamond. A glance at the names of those who've joined the ranks of the twenty-seven millionaires since we first conceived of the idea of the "Cup" nine years ago, who bought the 59 Stakes winners, 12 "Group Ones" and 8 Horses of the Year, is a telling memorial. To the last, they're likely to know the gallops will be flighted this weekend on www.summerhill.co.za; they've exploited the "insider" knowledge of our jockeys and grooms, and as critical as any, their noteboooks are etched in the opinions of the world's only panel of elite judges. In a world in which there are few "free lunches" these days, here are their verdicts, free, "gratis" and for nothing. Read them, or risk the possibility you'll be the "lunch"!

Judge Lot Colt/Filly Sire Dam
Craig Peters 188 F Golden Sword Vin Fizz
111 F Brave Tin Soldier Nadira
41 F Traffic Guard Celebrity Girl
191 F Brave Tin Soldier Wave Blaster
182 F Brave Tin Soldier Tialata
47 C Golden Sword Crescent Star
1 C Traffic Guard Zodwa
43 C Golden Sword Chase The Light
79 C Golden Sword Gold Run
60 C Lonhro Diamond Masque
Graeme Hawkins 103 F Biarritz Lux Cat
117 F Elusive Fort Noble Harriet
42 F Traffic Guard Champs Elysees
90 F Visionaire Jet Park
98 F Traffic Guard Lady In Blue
146 F Visionaire Royal Purse
155 C Mambo In Seattle Silent Mist
88 C Philanthropist Insasa
60 C Lonhro Diamond Masque
12 C Trippi Arabian Charm
172 C Visionaire Tialata
Joey Ramsden 143 F Visionaire Roman Dream
104 F Gitano Hernando Maritime Mist
86 F Warm White Night Hidepark Girl
89 F Golden Sword Inspiring
188 F Golden Sword Vin Fizz
152 F Exceed & Excel Sesenta
109 C Brave Tin Soldier Miss Crystal
31 C Brave Tin Soldier Bridge The Gap
60 C Lonhro Diamond Masque
15 C Var Ariza
118 C Hard Spun Noble Heir
Michael Roberts 19 F Philanthropist Band Of Angels
90 F Visionaire Jet Park
94 F Golden Sword Jumping Jaguar
181 F More Than Ready The Miniver Rose
188 F Golden Sword Vin Fizz
12 C Trippi Arabian Charm
58 C Visionaire Deceptive Charm
59 C High Chaparral Delphi Lodge
88 C Philanthropist Insasa
116 C Visionaire New York Folly
Sean Tarry 67 F Brave Tin Soldier Footsteps
111 F Brave Tin Soldier Nadira
143 F Visionaire Roman Dream
181 F More Than Ready The Miniver Rose
188 F Golden Sword Vin Fizz
12 C Trippi Arabian Charm
45 C Seventh Rock Cherry Flower
59 C High Chaparral Delphi Lodge
60 C Lonhro Diamond Masque
127 C Western Winter Pipatune
Dean Kannemeyer 16 F Visionaire Autumn Mist
78 F Golden Sword Golden Song
111 F Brave Tin Soldier Nadira
133 F Visionaire Qamsar
181 F More Than Ready The Miniver Rose
32 C Philanthropist Broadway Lady
60 C Lonhro Diamond Masque
127 C Western Winter Pipatune
95 C Kahal Kenmare House
172 C Visionaire Sucha Looka
116 C Visionaire New York Folly
Mathew de Kock 103 F Biarritz Lux Cat
123 F Rebel King Perfect Diamond
152 F Exceed & Excel Sesenta
160 F Traffic Guard Sovereign Lass
191 F Brave Tin Soldier Wave Blaster
12 C Trippi Arabian Charm
59 C High Chaparral Delphi Lodge
155 C Mambo In Seattle Silent Mist
159 C National Emblem Solar Galleon
195 C Visionaire Winning Glory
Miguel Clements 181 F More Than Ready The Miniver Rose
103 F Biarritz Lux Cat
152 F Exceed & Excel Sesenta
59 C High Chaparral Delphi Lodge
32 C Philanthropist Broadway Lady
119 C Brave Tin Soldier Nojoom

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