It was a fantastically run CTS Yearling Sale which produced record results and probably the best line up of yearlings we have seen in this country – not just pedigree wise but the yearlings themselves. We managed to secure a few which was no mean result by any standard as it was tough out there, writes Joey Ramsden.
As always, viewing was excellent and with the red-hot temperatures outside, it was lovely to be in the cool of the convention centre.
It was great to see the overseas buyers out in force and to have the Coolmore operation taking an interest in our racing.
I was lucky enough to stay at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town. I cannot recommend a better place to stay, whether it is for business or just a holiday.
The build up to the sales is always fun with plenty to do: cocktail parties, etc. but in the end it is the horses that count and they certainly pulled their weight in the sales ring. The race day itself was extremely special with top quality racing.
Inara won the Grade 1 Majorca in fine style and it was fantastic to have Mike Bass on course.
The Investec Cape Derby was won by It’s My Turn. I am not sure it is the strongest Derby we have ever had but a winner is a winner and well done to the Snaith’s.
However, the piece de resistance was Glen Puller winning the Million Dollar Sales race with Illuminator for loyal owners Francis Carruthers and Ian Robinson.
He was ridden by unknown apprentice Heavelon van der Hoven after Weichong Marwing was stood down – a dream come true for Heavelon. Illuminator was not an expensive purchase and it just goes to show all the naysayers that racing is not just for the rich and there is plenty out there for everyone. Well done to Glen and all the connections.
Apart from the Australian Open, with all the big shots still in as we speak, we have the J&B Met coming up this weekend.
It is wonderful to have a quiet week leading into it. One is able to sit down and catch one’s breath after the sales and move quietly into the big race day itself with less distractions to worry about.
It looks to be an extremely wide open event, despite the fact there are numerous top quality individuals involved. There is no reason why this year a filly cannot win it either.
We have international jockey, Umberto Rispoli, riding on the day.
He did not impress me when he came over for the International Day a couple of years ago, riding under the Italian flag. Maybe he has found a few lengths under the French flag?
On the bright side, he did have an extremely attractive girlfriend so maybe there is something to look forward to!
Manchester United continue to bore the socks off everyone and please God let it be a short time before Mr Louis van Gaal is moved along, as my father would say. I don’t think any of us can take it anymore.
Here’s hoping it is a successful day’s racing on Met Day.
It is not quite as top quality this year as in previous years with a number of Grade 1 races having been taken away. However, The Cape Flying Championship looks a strong race and we must have a chance with Brutal Force. Commonly known as “Fatty” in the yard, he seems in fine form.
Fingers crossed he gives of his best.
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