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.
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.
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.
And it’s not only about THE ELMO EFFECT, one of the best stayers on the Rand. It’s also about one of the Highveld’s leading three-year-olds, UNAGI, who took down a top field with 60kg on his back for Alexander Racing. And it’s about another victory for Sean Tarry’s Hyaku in Durban.