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“If they’re carrying this brand…
you know you’re in business.”
Continuing the extracts from the Summerhill Sires Brochure for 2010/2011. Are you on the mailing list? If not then please let us have your details and we’ll gladly ensure you get a personal copy when it’s published on the 1st August.
“Given the racing man’s hereditary obsession with the irretrievable past, and allowing for the fallibility of memory, it may prove too much for us to recreate it just as it was. How do you recreate it?
In a single weekend, Hear The Drums equaled the all-time record number of wins; Imbongi booked his place for the richest day in racing with a scintillating gallop in Dubai; Pierre Jourdan demolished a field of the best of his age in the first leg of the Triple Crown; and Fisani flattened a line-up of international divas in the Fillies’ equivalent.
These things happened within twelve hours of each other. Four times our people slipped into euphoria. Four times the whiff of a miracle was in the air. How do you recreate it? Best just tell it as you saw it.
You’d think though, after six Championships in a row, these things might be passé to a team like ours. Not a word of it. We know too well, you’re only as good as your last race. Summerhill is a place of triumph without arrogance, prized without vanity.
Pierre Jourdan isn’t that big, his parents weren’t famous, and he didn’t cost much as a youngster. But he doesn’t know any of this. When he raced home in the S.A. Classic, the crowd clapped him all the way to the Winner’s Circle. “PJ” is briefly more a deity than a horse. A prominent member of the Catholic clergy is so overcome, he forgets the injunction against worshipping graven images. He asks for, and receives, a few coppery hairs from “PJ’s” tail.
Hear The Drums is a once-in-a-lifetime racehorse. Literally. He’s been where no other racehorse in South Africa has ever been. He’s taken the “around-they-go-again” sameness out of the game, except in the number of times he’s been to the Number One box. Here is a man who’s given us not one, but 32 undying moments.
As Mike de Kock left the mounting yard for Imbongi’s assault on the Meydan Festival’s richest mile, he said “No excuses today.” He didn’t need any. Destiny came rushing up to embrace him. When Christophe Soumillon said “laisse aller,” Imbongi surged away, shaking off the hangers-on much as Oscar Pistorius might farewell a bunch of neighbourhood joggers.
That self-same day, as is his want, de Kock claimed the laurels in the Fillies Guineas. The heroine was Fisani, a girl whose heritage includes Teenoso, winner of England’s greatest horserace. De Kock understands pedigrees.
Ask yourself then, what magic is it that delivers these moments of delirium? It’s all about the ten thousand hours at the grindstone, taking control of your own destiny, and where Mother Nature is clearly in charge, embracing her on the path to El Dorado.”