Emperors Palace Ready To Run Gallops at Summerhill Stud
(Photo : Annet Becker)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN GALLOPS
15 OCTOBER 2010
Mike de Kock
The man international horsemen have come to regard as one of, if not the best trainer in the world, has pioneered South Africa’s reputation as a world class producer of horsemen and racehorses, through his exploits on the international stages of the United States, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore. This past season he took the National Trainers’ Championship by the widest margin in history, amassing earnings in excess of R22 million.
An ardent supporter of the Ready To Run over the years, his graduates include the Classic and Group One performers Imbongi, Bold Ellinore, Emperor Napoleon and this season’s stand-outs, Igugu and Checcetti.
De Kock holds a powerful hand for this year’s running of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, with Igugu (likely to at start at short-odds), Checcetti, Inkanyezi, Chekeche, Danehill Darling etc.
He makes his fourth appearance as a judge at the Ready To Run, and will be receiving his Honours degree at the “Horsemen’s Opening” of the Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence on Thursday evening, where he is the honour speaker.
If ever a panellist had the pedigree, it belongs to this man. Son of previous jockey and Champion trainer, Peter, Dean has carved his own highly distinguished niche in the annals of South African racing. Between him and his father, they’ve trained six Cape of Good Hope Guineas winners, three J & B Met heroes, three Durban July aces, as well as a legion of the country’s other major events. No doubt, if you ask him, Dean will tell you the best horse he’s trained was the remarkable Dynasty, but in Noordhoek Flyer, he has one of the most pulsating athletes in the land at the moment. One to slip his clutches was the ultimate Horse Of The Year, Irish Flame, whose career Dean launched before his purchase for irresistible money by patrons of the Mike de Kock stable.
He makes his fourth appearance as a judge on the panel, and will be receiving his Honours degree at the School Of Excellence on Thursday.
Like Dean Kannemeyer, Joey carries a pedigree steeped in racing tradition, with a father who ranks a furlong in front of all handicappers in the UK, and a step-mum with a distinguished record as a trainer in Doncaster, England. A taste of Africa, however, made Joey a “local”, and his rapid ascent to the upper echelons of our training ranks is testimony to his skills as a horseman. While horses were his chosen path in the end, he possesses the agility of mind of a man who could have been a professor in any number of disciplines, and the combination of the two has made him the conditioner of choice of the some of the nation’s leading owners, not the least of whom is the biggest and the most successful owner of all time, Markus Jooste.
Joey’s association with many of the country’s top horses is well-known, but it’s probably fair to nominate Winter Solstice, erstwhile Horse Of The Year, as his best.
Three years as a Ready To Run judge earns Joey his Bachelors degree at the Al Maktoum School Of Excellence on Thursday.
The dulcet tones of the Western Cape’s most famous racecaller are known to every fan of our sport across the country, but that’s just the beginning of Jehan Malherbe’s array of racing attributes. A founding partner in the world-renowned Form Bloodstock Organisation, he combines an uncanny knack for what makes a horse run, with an instinctive appreciation of the copious data his organisation has at its fingertips, in identifying top prospects. His most successful clients include His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifah Al Maktoum and Mary Slack’s Wilgersbosdrift Stud.
Among the many outstanding horses he has been associated with are the past season’s champions Bold Silvano, Ancestral Fore and Horse Of The Year, Irish Flame, which makes him as hot as “touchpaper” right now. Another lining up for his Bachelor’s “cap” on Thursday evening at the School Of Excellence.
The Lebanese community in Johannesburg has been one of the mainstays of the industry for many decades, and the great trainers and jockeys they have produced have long passed into legend. The senior flag bearer right now is a relatively young man in Sean Tarry, perennially among the top few trainers in the country many years before his time.
He’s been associated with a long line of Group One winners, the stand-outs being the mercurial sprinters, National Colour and Mythical Flight, both of whom carried the colours of Sean’s principal patron, Chris Van Niekerk. Making his acceptance speech as Owner Of The Year in 2008, van Niekerk acknowledged Sean as the single most important element behind his phenomenal success. Sean’s Ready To Run successes include millionaire Fork Lightening, a R65,000 bargain.
Like several of his fellow panellists, Sean has a rare talent for picking a good racehorse, and earns his Honours badge at Thursday’s celebrations at the Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence.
There are few in racing that can claim to rank among the world’s top racing commentators, and at the same time occupy a place in the pantheon of elite auctioneers, yet Graeme Hawkins’ credentials stretch well beyond that. His knowledge and understanding of racing and the nuances that make our sport what it is, the personalities behind it, and the idiosyncrasies of both, have earned this man the title of “Mr Racing”. He brings to the panel a razor sharp mind and an acerbic sense of humour. Once CEO of Bloodstock SA and currently C.O.O of Gold Circle, his footprint is deep-etched in the chronicles of our game.
He’ll tell you he’s been the Number One judge at the Gallops to date, and while the acid test awaits him on Friday, he’s certainly earned his Honours “blazer” at Thursday’s gathering at the School Of Excellence.
Racing fans of the 1950’s and 60’s would have told you that after Tiger Wright, there could never be another jockey in his class, so when Michael Roberts came along and broke every conceivable record Tiger had stood for, there were many who could only shake their heads in wonder. The only man in South African history to take out 13 national titles as well as give the world a riding lesson as Champion Jockey of Britain, Michael Roberts was a veritable star in the firmament of international racing. Besides his championships, Michael achieved the unthinkable for a boy from Oudshoorn, in becoming the number one rider for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, the world’s biggest and most powerful owner of all time. A stockman, a horseman, a breeder, a jockey and trainer of consummate professionalism, we are enriched to have a man of Michael’s international stature on our panel. Lines up Thursday for his Honours degree after four years in judgement.
The judges’ panel at the Ready To Run Gallops comprises a brotherhood of free-spirited, bloody-minded individuals, all of whom have reached the pinnacle of their professions through a common understanding that nothing is possible without courage, enterprise and dedication way beyond the comprehension of ordinary man. Convening a panel of such “supermen” demands the status and respect of someone who has been around for a long time, and whose knowledge of the game stands the scrutiny of the sternest.
Such a man is “Eagle Eye” Peters, racecaller, master of ceremonies and facilitator for almost three decades. Besides convening the panel, Craig’s function includes the calling of every gallop on the day, and only a man with his history and the depth of research he undertakes in advance of the gallops, guarantee the professionalism he brings to the table. Remarkably, he makes up a band on the panel of three of the world’s most accomplished commentators, with Jehan Malherbe and Graeme Hawkins, while television personality, Nico Kritsiotis is on the cusp of membership of the same elite group. He earns his Honours blazer Thursday evening for four year’s service.
Now serving for the third time as a judge on the Emperors Palace Ready To Run panel, Eamonn Cullen first “guested” as our international invitee when he was with Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. A man steeped in the traditions of the promotion of Thoroughbreds, he served his “apprenticeship” at the best school in the world, under a legend by the name of Richard Henry at the Coolmore Stud in his native country, Ireland. He recently translocated to South Africa, where he’s taken up duties as head of marketing with Bloodstock South Africa, and he’s already made his presence felt through some bold international initiatives.
Observers who’ve seen him in action on the panel, will tell you they are endeared by his Irish wit, his to-the-point observations, and the confusion he sows with his unintelligible accent. Earns his Bachelors cap on Thursday at the “School”.
Dates to remember :
Friday 15 October 2010
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Gallops at Summerhill stud
Saturday 6 November 2010 - Raceday
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup
Sunday 7 November 2010 - Auction Sale
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale
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