One of Tom Jones' greatest hits was the “Green, Green Grass of Home” and buyers at the forthcoming Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Sale might be humming those lyrics as they drive through the entrance of Summerhill Stud later this month.
It’s inevitable really, and it just lends credence to the old belief in racing that when you lose a stallion, you can bet he’s on his way to stardom. That looks very much like the story of Await The Dawn, who was tragically lost in a freak accident halfway through his second season at Summerhill.
Like anything worth savouring, it pays to sometimes keep your best for last; this applies to racehorse sales as much as it does to dessert. If it were otherwise, the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale would not have arrived at its status as one of the world’s fastest growing Thoroughbred vendues in the first dozen years of the new millennium.
In the attempt at rationalising the national sales programme, it seemed that one of the country’s oldest institutions had been overlooked. Some thirty years ago, the southern hemisphere’s first concept of a Ready To Run sale was born of a collaboration between Summerhill Stud and a relic of the auction trade, Chris Smith Bloodstock.
The standard-setters among European sires are without question Galileo and Dubawi. As well as posting phenomenally high ratios of black-type winners and group or graded winners, both sires clearly demonstrate their sire power by upgrading their mares. Upgrading mares that are already good is no small achievement.
We all know things are tight, tighter than they’ve been in a very long time. And if it weren’t for the expectation of the normalisation of our export protocols in the reasonably near future, the breeding landscape would be a bleak place indeed. With that in mind, we’ve spent a good deal of time pleading the case of broodmare owners across the board with our stallion principals, and they’re not only sympathetic but they’re as determined as we are to play their part in contributing towards the future viability of our customers’ operations.
Let’s face it, it was tough going at the National Yearling Sale, more so on the third day. There were those who complained that the market could not take more than 600 horses in a matter of a fortnight, and there was probably some truth in it. Others complained about the sale being sandwiched between an extra-long weekend and a big race meeting, and there may be a modicum of validity there as well.
When you don’t have the dough, you simply have to make a plan, which means “innovate” in modern speak. That’s been the story of ten times champion breeders Summerhill Stud for as long as they’ve been in business, and it’s served them well to this day.
It’s an indisputable fact that Anant Singh is South Africa’s greatest ever movie maker. And while his other love in life, horseracing, has been kind to him in his association with several outstanding performers, yesterday he revealed another dimension to his extensive retinue of “gongs”.