David Mollett
When it comes to SA training legends names which spring to mind are Syd Laird, Terrance Millard and Mike de Kock. Close behind are Pat Shaw and Jean Heming. Sadly, Heming passed away in the UK last week at the age of 78. Shaw, who won the 1995 Durban July with Teal and went on to become champion trainer in Singapore, is back in SA where his opinion on all racing matters will be closely followed.
— David Mollett

So KZN breeder Mick Goss was understandably delighted that Shaw, who turned 62 earlier in October, made the trip to Mooi River to cast his expert eye over the Summerhill draft which will be sold at the Emperors Palace Ready-to-Run Sale to be held at the TBA headquarters in Germiston on November 4.

The name "Trump" is making the most headlines, so it was interesting that Shaw used this word to describe his view on the numerous well-bred two year-olds ready to go through the sales ring in November.

"Pat said he’d lost count of the number of years he’d made the journey here, but told me he considered this year’s draft trumps all others," said Goss.

"This is a wonderful boost for us ahead of the sale as Pat Shaw is as much a totem of the game in SA as Vincent O’Brien was to Ireland and Bob Baffert to America," said Goss whose Summerhill Stud has won the breeders championship 10 times.

A study of the Ready-to-Run catalogue reveals why Shaw is so excited: there are siblings to 32 black type performers and eight Grade 1 horses. They include two Grade 1 winners from last season — Takingthepeace and Hero's Honour.

It will be interesting to see if enthusiastic young owners Murray Makepeace and Michael Shea rock up at Germiston and bid on the half-brother on Takingthepeace's half-brother by Duke of Marmalade. They won’t be short of cash as they sold a 50% half-share in their Visionaire filly to Craig and Ross Kieswetter in May and to date their star filly has earned just shy of R1.5m in stake money.

Goss has said that the latest addition to the family out of the mare Lisa Anne is a filly by Capetown Noir who "weighed in at a healthy 60,5kg".

Down the years, trainer Gary Alexander has done well with horses bred at Summerhill — 2011 Durban July second Pierre Jourdan is one of the best — so he is sure to have a close look at the Capetown Noir colt who is a half-brother to SA Derby winner, Hero’s Honour.

Trippi remains one of the country’s most popular stallions so expect the bids to be flying thick and fast for one of his sons who is a half-brother to the top-class performer, Rabada.

Geoff Woodruff is three-times SA champion trainer and — as he has done well with Schiffer this term, winning the Heritage 1,200 Fillies & Mares Handicap for owner-breeder Geoff Van Lear — he is likely to take a close look at her full-sister by Var. The Avontuur Stud stallion keeps producing the goods and they include Sommerlied, winner of the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint, and William the Silent, who silenced the pundits with his victory in the Grade 2 SA Nursery.

Other interesting youngsters in the "Ready-to-Run" catalogue include a Visionaire colt who is a half-brother to Admiral’s Eye and a Capetown Noir filly who is a half-brother to The Thinker.

Everyone will be on the lookout to acquire a bargain like Ready-to-Run graduate Brave Mary, who cost just R40,000 and, following her Grade 1 win at Scottsville, was sold to Barry Irwin’s Team Valor operation for R3m. In December, the filly was voted KZN horse of the year.

The Vaal hosts a Work Riders meeting on Tuesday and punters need to check the market on a number of first-timers. They include a daughter of Captain Al in the first race and a son of Var in the fourth who is out of 2010 Summer Cup winner, Flirtation.