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Written by Summerhill Stud   
Tuesday, 18 September 2018




The Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup boasts an illustrious history as a font of outstanding racehorses and future champions. The tally of millionaire graduates from one consignor alone is nudging the 40 mark now, and the 2018 edition of the sale looks set to continue the tradition.

What’s different about this year’s 13th renewal of the race is that, unlike many of its predecessors, the log of leading contenders is not quite as strongly dominated by the big racing yards as it has been in former years, though we hardly need reminding that two of the first three runnings fell to the comparatively small outfits of the racing “pros”, Mark Dixon and Mike Miller.

While the weekly log is not necessarily definitive as the final field is the product of an independent panel’s invitation, it’s nonetheless a solid indicator of where the aspirants stand at the moment, and is headed by Chesney van Zyl’s Group One runner-up, Railtrip, Michael and Adam Azzie’s The Sash and Paul Matchett’s Patrol Officer, a winner at the Vaal a fortnight ago. With only 50-odd candidates eligible for the race and a considerably stronger prospect of making the 16 runner line-up, conditioners of the ilk of Robbie Hill, Roy Magner, Michael Roberts (2), Sean Tarry, Johan Janse Van Vuuren, Jarett Rugg, Chris Jonker, Bridget Stidolph, Ivan Moore, Corrie Lensley and Chris Jonker will be fortified by the inclusion of steeds under their care in the top 20. No doubt there’ll be some hot jostling between now and then for slots at the gate on the 3rd November, with the usual bold claims from hitherto unexposed horses, but at least their connections have an idea of where they stand. The log at 12th September can be accessed on both BSA’s and Summerhill’s websites, and will be updated weekly going forward.

The fireworks in the French sales ring at Arqana last week and those currently under way at Keeneland, America are the best evidence that the appetite for good racehorses around the world is endless, and those local owners and trainers with enterprising spirits will be encouraged by the opportunities the normalisation of South Africa’s export protocols will represent in the next few months.
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