The CitizenThat old chestnut saying of “if you haven’t got a ticket, you can’t collect” has never been more apt when one considers the loot on offer at next month’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.
Scheduled for Turffontein on Saturday 2 November, the purse is a staggering R3million - only the Vodacom Durban July carries bigger prize money.
What will delight owners, who are presented with mounting bills along with their “Racing Express” at the breakfast table, is that the Cup cheques go down to R65,000 for 10th place. The winner picks up a cool R1,25 million.
The real action for the Ready To Run Sale - on Friday 1 November and Sunday 3 November - kicks off at Summerhill on Friday when Nico Kritsiotis will be calling the youngsters home in their breeze-up gallops.
The judging panel of (in no particular order) Muis Roberts, Sean Tarry, Dean Kannemeyer, Joey Ramsden, Alec Laird, Graeme Hawkins and Craig Peters have been running their expert eyes over these sale graduates for about as long as Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has been trying to win a trophy. In both instances, their dedication is not in doubt.
There’s also a new face on the panel in Simon Vivian from the highly-respected Australian sales company, Inglis, who once-upon-a-Tuesday flew me to Sydney for their Premier Yearling Sale. I left mighty impressed with the catalogue and the night life!
Next week I’ll be listing the six top choices of these respected gentlemen, but I do recall that last year both Jehan Malherbe and Sean Tarry backed up their selections by both acquiring horses which went for over R1 million.
Jehan went to R1 million to secure a son of Fastnet Rock while Sean bid the same amount for a Jet Master colt (half-brother to Ivory Trail) for his patron, Michael Javett.
Yet - if my memory serves me well - it was a certain Adriaan van Vuuren who stole the show with a bid of R1,5 million for the Jet Master filly, Mystical Star. It’s a good bet Michael Azzie’s eyes were watery as the hammer came down!
What owners really like to know about any thoroughbred sale is how the recent graduates have fared - particularly in recent months. Two inmates of Geoff Woodruff’s yard, Arcetri Pink and Killua Castle, strutted their stuff impressively for the five-times champion trainer on Emerald Cup day and another graduate, Power King (R380,000 buy in 2012), is unbeaten in two starts for Dean Kannemeyer and rated highly in the Cape.
So the one horse panelist Dean will be focusing on this Friday is Power King’s half-brother by Seventh Rock (lot 224) who will be offered by Balmoral Stud on the Sunday.
In fact, there should be plenty of big action on the final session as some 18 lots prior to this sale, Summerhill will be offering a choicely-bred Rock Of Gibraltar filly (lot 206) out of the Aussie mare, Miss Moguls. Mick G has named her Rich Girl which might end up being very appropriate.
Then in this same batch being sold by auctioneer Graeme Hawkins is the half-brother to Equus Champion Three-Year-Old colt, Vercingetorix. While this son of Captain Al (lot 216) was a fairly late foal, that’s not going to deter the big bidders - possibly including our champion trainer - who will be keen to acquire this offering from Klawervlei Stud.
There are four lots by recently-deceased former champion sire, Western Winter, and Mick says that “buyers will need to bring their cheque books.”
More on the panel’s choices next week, but there’s no question the first weekend in November is likely to be memorable both on the racetrack and in the sales ring.
Extract from The Citizen