THE Summerhill Stud team will reach a new milestone this year. With the Ready To Run Sale and Ready To Run Cup race now approaching their 8th year, the stake for the 2014 renewal of the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup has been set at R3.85million.
It is well-worn fact that the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run sale and its associated race, the Ready To Run Cup can lay claim to being the first sale of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Summerhill’s Mick Goss is a story teller par excellence and loves to relate that the first Ready To Run sale was held in the shade of the old oak tree outside the Summerhill farm office in the company of fewer customers than farm staff and sales organisers. However, from tiny acorns spring mighty oaks and the names that have graced the honour roll to date include the likes of Igugu, Imbongi, Pierre Jourdan, Fisani and Hollywoodboulevard to name but a few.
Kosava: Eye on the Prize!
Not only does that make it the all-time richest race in South African horse racing history, it also means that with a little over 80 seconds required for the field to complete the 1400 metre journey, they’ll be running for the best part of R50 000 a second, every stride of the journey.
Goss said “It’s time for everyone associated with the race to take a bow, the sponsors, the TBA, Phumelela, the Racing Association, the breeders and especially the buyers, who’ve embraced the concept with both feet, demonstrating what you can do when your heart is right and your mind is willing. Summerhill’s own contribution of around a million is the biggest breeder sponsorship of prize money on the continent.”
This year’s event is already shaping up into an exciting clash. Early indications show Charles Laird to be in the driving seat with his arsenal including the explosive power of five-length Group winner Rich Girl and Alesh Naidoo’s Group-performer, Nisa’s Machine. Kosava who is owned by Danish investor Hubert John Strecker and streaked to a 4.5 length winning debut looks to be the leading contender from the Mike de Kock stable, while Louis Goosen is locked and loaded with Way West’s daughter Celine, who smashed her competition to shed her maiden ticket by 5.5 lengths.
Freshman sire Brave Tin Soldier, has three prospective candidates, with Gavin Van Zyl’s Iwo Jima arguably topping the list, although rumour suggests that there are a few more ‘soldiers’ waiting in the wings.
Hong Kong dollars accounted for more than 25% of 2013′s Ready To Run proceeds, making it the best-patronised foreign spend in the land. The talk is that besides Mike de Kock’s first-timer for his Hong Kong clients, Roy Magner is also sitting on a couple of well-related gems he has yet to let go.
However, it’s early days yet and a lot of water will run under the bridge before the first weekend of November, but Summerhill are making sure that it’s not just the temperatures that will be rising!