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”.
You’d expect it of a farm that has been at the head of the nation’s breeding affairs for most of the new millennium, yet it would be remiss of Summerhill if it didn’t share its faith in the horses it’s just sent to Jo’burg.
It's all very well talking about the cost of racehorses. But it sometimes helps to talk return, too. Not only the 27 millionaires, but the cash our Ready To Run "value buys" have generated in the past several seasons.
These “cheapies” join the likes of Lebeoana (cost R40k, 10 wins to date) by A.P. Arrow, I Got You Babe (cost R7k, 7 wins) by Solskjaer and Ginger Biscuit (cost R20k, 4 wins to date) by Admire Main. And let’s not forget, they don’t always have to be the height of fashion. South Africa’s winning-most racehorse of all times Hear The Drums (cost R42k, by Gold Press) visited the winner's enclosure 34 times, while Imbongi (Russian Revival), Pierre Jourdan (Parade Leader) and Paris Perfect (3rd in the Dubai World Cup Gr.1) were all sold off the farm and all scooped north of R5million each at the races.
Nobody knows the Summerhill horses better than our “boys in green”, the young men who ride these magnificent beasts we call thoroughbreds out in the early hours of the morning while “normal” people are still enjoying the blissful tranquillity of slumber. We’ve proclaimed the talents of these horsemen on numerous occasions, and the lead-up to this year’s Summer Ready To Run is no different.
So the R699,000 average at last month's Cape Premier Yearling Sale was a little beyond your pocket - Summerhill Stud have just what the doctor ordered at their 2017 Emperors Palace Summer Ready-To-Run Sale.
Veteran trainer Roy Magner provided Summerhill Stud with a wonderful advert for its Farm Sale next week when Anna Pavlova (nearest camera), a graduate of the 2016 sale, got up to win the Gr3 Three Troikas Stakes over 1450m at Turffontein with a powerful late run under jockey JP van der Merwe.
Brave Tin Soldier was the only colt of his generation to win Group Ones at both two and three. But his dad Brave Tin Soldier is no one-trick pony. Sean Tarry has his highly-regarded Fieldmarshal Fenix while Geoff Woodruff scored with the promising Private Swarovski.
At last it’s being said by someone beyond our borders. The siren call of “first aid” for South Africa’s export initiatives has finally reached the enclaves of those that really matter, thanks to a ream of links in a long chain of knocks on the proverbial door. Vast sums and great reserves of energy have been expended in the process, none more so than by the redoubtable Mayfair Speculators, otherwise popularly known as “M.J.”, now a name of the household variety in international racing circles.