Nico Kritsiotis of Tellytrack interviews Mike de Kock at the Summerhill Gallops
(Photo : Gareth Du Plessis)
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale
7 November 2010
Charl Pretorius www.racingweb.co.zaWe’ve often mentioned the advantages of attending Summerhill Stud’s annual Ready To Run gallops and there is ample proof that readers of this column have taken our advice to heart.
When last Friday morning broke in hints of cloud-interrupted rays over the rolling slopes of Mooi River to announce the 2010 renewal of the event, Hartford House and most of the other guest houses in the region were already fully occupied. Attendance figures were up 30% and even a few former cynics from miles away decided to plot their routes to the KZN Midlands.
Guests who had already checked into Hartford House on Thursday must have thought they’d woken up in Siberia! A number of die-hards readily accepted this as punishment for their concerted efforts to deplete their host’s reserve of fine wines during and after Thursday night’s Ready To Run dinner, but on the plus side the sudden visit by Big Chill saved them the necessity of a cold shower!
Champion trainer Mike de Kock, one of the expert panelists, was fortunate enough to escape the long party haul, which would have pleased Summerhill’s Mick Goss, known for his attention to logistics. Mike has never objected to the occasional sampling of ruby red, but he was in bed not longer after his third tumbler of Rupert & Rothschild. Rumours that Mick was spotted adding a powdery substance to our champion trainer’s fourth required sample could not be confirmed but Mike started yawning unusually early and left on the arm of his charming wife Diane.
He seemed as fresh as a daisy when the first two-year-olds came galloping down the track at 11:45 on Friday. With no aches, pains or creaky bones preventing him from carrying out his duties, one can assume that his renowned judgment was as close to spot-on as ever, in this respect containing good news for followers of Summerhill’s stallion Solskjaer.
Mike said : “Last year the youngsters by Way West stood out among the rest and this year the Solksjaer two-year-olds impressed me in a similar way. I wasn’t keen on him last season, but from the quality I’ve seen in this year’s gallops I think he is going to make his mark in his second crop. He had a few outstanding representatives, they moved very well.”
Mike noted that Solksjaer’s son Zulu Legend (Lot 2), put up an impressive gallop and selected him along with a Kahal colt (Lot 34) and an import by Hussonet (Lot 55), as his three most appealing male breezers. Frontino Gold, the son of Hussonet, also appeared on the lists of other expert panelists Jehan Malherbe and Graeme Hawkins.
Among the fillies, both Sean Tarry and Joey Ramsden had Lot 10, Pearl Heart, a daughter of Way West, on top of their lists, while De Kock and Michael Roberts selected Lot 42 (Kahal), among the females. Light Blue (Lot 98, Captain Al), also proved to be popular.
Goss, pleased with the growing success of the Ready To Run gallops, commented : “What we have here is a truly world-class package deal accessible to owners of all financial capabilities - the R2million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, its associated “trials”, the best trophies in the game, the past performances of its graduates and the six cheque payment scheme. The Ready To Run has put the ‘buzz’ back into racing, and the turnout at last year’s big race and the sale the next day, confirmed it.
Dates to remember :
Saturday 6 November 2010 - Raceday
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup
Sunday 7 November 2010 - Auction Sale
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale