The Wonderful Uncertainty

No walking races in this game!

Way West

Way West (pictured) together with Mullins Bay and Solskjaer will be auctioned after the sale

There are some things in life that are simple arithmetic, even in the bewildering sport of horseracing. We all know that the odds of finding a winner were set to confound us, but when you’re saving as much as a hundred grand, there can be no doubt about the logic, writes Wonderful Uncertainty blog as courtesy of the Sporting Post.

Buying a two year old in full training in February, not only takes a chunk off the keep bill relative to a yearling acquired at the same time last year, but with a Ready To Run sale, you have the added benefit of “clocking” the gallop. There are no walking races in this game, and while nothing’s quite “20-20”, there’s a massive advantage in filling your eye with the horse of your choice at full tilt.

Long-time champion breeder, Summerhill has a well-documented tradition of selling outstanding racehorses directly off the farm, so much so, that three years ago they turned the tedium for customers of having to pick one from a crowd into a once-off, winner-takes-all jamboree, bundling up the viewing of the gallops in the Hall Of Fame theatre, a sumptuous lunch by the award-winning Hartford House, and a “blitzkrieg” sale of 60 lots, in just a few hours. The only question remaining then, is what’s on the menu this time? Take a look at the website, and this lot looks to rival any of its predecessors. ( – click on Sales and Hall Of Fame)

The search for a champion racehorse can often be outrageously expensive, but here again, the Summerhill website is instructive: there are reams of high achievers of modest cost that have earned their owners many times their outlay.


Imbongi – scintillating return on investment!

Going back to the time when there were just a handful to be had off the farm by private treaty, the exalted likes of Imbongi (cost R140k, earned more than R8 million), Paris Perfect (R60k, earned R5 264 000), Hear The Drums (R42k earned R1,979,210), Bold Ellinore (R60k, earned R1 096 000), Emperor Napoleon (R100k, earned R1,501,880 )and Amphitheatre (R30k, earned R 1 205 218) make the case.

Since the inception of the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run, there’s been another stream of quality racehorses, headed by No Worries, whose earnings are approaching R2 million already, together with Coby (R100k earnings R307,875), Corredor (R60k earnings R442,125), Flyfirstclass (R130k earnings R514,500), Vulcan (R40k earnings R555,475), Greasepaint (R80k earnings R320,775), Tomorrow’s Miss (R80k earnings R516,575), as well as the Sophmore winners Sithela (R50k) and Rooi Nooi (R60k).

Yet, if you’ve grown up with the dream of owning a racehorse but always believed it was beyond you, here’s a lesson in what a sale like this can do to make it a reality. I Got You Babe cost Mike Miller just R6,000, and is now a seven-time winner of more than R424,555 in stakes to date, with Chili Pepper (R50k, earnings R300,950 to date), Walking On Air (cost R30k earnings R246,000 to date), Dame Victoria (R30k, earnings R257,925 to date) and Gida (R35k, earnings R334,856 to date), were all of the “modest” variety.

Igugu – Horse of the Year & Pierre Jourdan – 2nd to Igugu in the July

Igugu – Horse of the Year & Pierre Jourdan – 2nd to Igugu in the July

There’s another dimension to this year’s sale though: close on a third of the entries (nineteen) hold tickets for the R2.5million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup in November. The farm’s record in that race is a remarkable six of the first eight winners, including the exacta on no fewer than three occasions.

Names like Igugu, Hollywoodboulevard, Pierre Jourdan, Fisani and Imbongi (all of them Guineas winners) tell us that come Tuesday the 24th February, there‘s every likelihood of another “lurker” among this lot.

A final note. Many visit the Summerhill website to get information on the horses on offer. Which lots get the highest number of hits make for a story in itself. Highest views among the colts have so far been for lot 17 (AP Arrow), lot 49 (Visionaire) and lot 60 (Visionaire). Front runners among the fillies were lot 31 (Muhtafal), lot 64 (Visionaire), lot 48 (Dupont) and lot 38 (Bankable).

Please note that after the sale, well-known stallions Mullins Bay, Solskjaer and Way West will be auctioned. They would make ideal prospects for several disciplines.

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