WHEN it was initiated 25 years ago, it was the first Ready To Run Sale in the southern hemisphere, and its technological inspirations, which include the flighting of its gallops on DVDs, websites and public television, were pioneering innovations, flattered in recent times by their imitation in various other parts of the world.
Five years ago the organisers introduced a panel of judges comprising prospective customers – some of the nation’s most accomplished horsemen – whose function it has become to identify the best prospects at the gallops, as well as those most likely to make the cut for the next year’s renewal of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, a race restricted to graduates of this sale.
Mike de Kock, Graeme Hawkins, Dean Kannemeyer, Jehan Malherbe, Craig Peters, Joey Ramsden, Michael Roberts and Sean Tarry are on the panel this year. Their collective experience exceeds 200 years. To add an international flavour, in the last four years BloodStock South Africa has secured an international celebrity. This year they have invited Dr Yusuke Tsukahara from Japan.
Yusuke is a veterinary surgeon at the world-renowned Northern Farm, many times the Champion Breeder in Japan and affiliated through the Yoshida family with the greatest breeding entity in that country’s history, Shadai.
Tsukahara has a personal interest in the gallops because the first crop of Sunday Silence’s outstanding son Admire Main will be on show. Northern Farm holds a residual interest in Sunday Silence.
The sale’s associated race, the R2.5-million Ready To Run Cup, boasts the richest prizemoney of any race of its kind in the world.
At least one panellist has tipped the winner of every Ready To Run Cup, bar last year’s winner, Red Barrel, who galloped at Turffontein and escaped their attention. In the end, though, he didn’t slip past De Kock, who “clocked’’ him at his gallop on the box and secured him for R350,000 for Ingrid and Markus Jooste. – Summerhill Stud