For the past 20 years, Seamie Heffernan has been the ultimate team player at Ballydoyle: self-effacing, patient, uncomplaining, a shoulder to the wheel. But his maiden Breeders' Cup success, unmistakably, was the result of an inspired and vivid exhibition of individual flair.
Looking at the slots for the R2.5million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup and the R1million Emperors Palace Charity Mile on Saturday, you’d swear we were being punished for having a hand in “state capture”!
Despite the wide draw, trainer Brett Crawford has opted to run Rabada in the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday 5 November. The final field for the Grade 2 race on the Standside track was unveiled at a function at Emperors Palace yesterday, when the charities and their celebrities met for the first time.
'Tongue-tied' is not a term you’d ordinarily apply to Aidan O'Brien, a man who just last week was named number one trainer in the world. It’s a common practice among racehorse conditioners to apply aids like blinkers, visors, hoods, cheek pieces and tongue ties to assist in the regulation of things like gate and cruising speed, lethargy, concentration and easier breathing, and nobody it seems, pays more attention to these details than the top man in his profession.
Ah good, Book II. Even better, Book IV. This is the week when the dealers in the obvious start to get a little queasy. You know the sort: the guys whose shallow convictions can be conveniently hidden in the deep pockets required at select sales. Did they read about the possible Raphael discovered in an Aberdeenshire manor the other day? Last valued in 1899 as a £20 copy, it may now be worth closer to £20 million. Some pin-hook!
There were many oddities in the story of Kelso. For one thing, he was a perfect gentleman but he was named for a lady. Mrs duPont was actually hoping for a filly when she bred Maid Of Flight to Your Host, as she wanted to name it for a friend, Kelso Everett, whom she considered the most perfect hostess she’d ever known.
KwaZulu-Natal's Equus National Champion Breeders Summerhill Stud dominates the various categories in the 2016 KZN Breeders Awards with 14 nominations, amongst them the likes of Rabada, No Worries, Heaps Of Fun, Intergalactic, Witchcraft and Arch Rival.
You’ve heard us say before that the stallion barn is the soul of Summerhill. The Gosses have been chasing stallions for the best part of a century now, and in many respects our lives on the turf have been shaped by them. As a family, our first real taste of the potency of a stallion’s influence came courtesy of Teddy’s grandson, Asbestos II, sire of my grandfather’s diminutive Durban July hero, St Pauls, yet it wasn’t until almost four decades later that Northern Guest was destined to launch a veritable nation.
Intergalactic’s victory over some of Joburg’s best just reminded us. Rabada, Champagne Haze, Heaps Of Fun, Witchcraft, Africa Rising, Miss Turbo, Unagi and Copper Pot. To a man and a woman, all Classic performers or Classic aspirants. CTS Ready To Run Sale: 24th & 25th November.
You have to love this story just as much as you love the way Chris McGrath tells it. His favourite story of the week is also a perfect story for the time of year; a time when all of us, the dreamers, and the cynics, and everyone in between, follow each new yearling round the ring much as gamblers do the ball bouncing round the roulette wheel. Of course, the business needs the guys who pile millions on odd-or-even, red-or-black. But it also needs them to watch in bemusement, from time to time, as their chips are scooped by the fellow who has staked his modest all at far more precarious odds. The ball bounces, wobbles, and finally snags into a numbered groove: the wrong colour for many, but exactly the right number for one. And, because this game calls for skill as well as luck, that man will often turn out to be Bobby O'Ryan.