Owning a racehorse is an expensive hobby. The word “hobby” is deliberate as opposed to an expensive “business” because it’s generally felt that if an owner can recoup 60 percent of their outlay and training expenses they will have done well, writes Gary Lemke for GGGaming.bet
You often hear of the fairtytale stories, and those are the ones which keep owners going back to a Sales and having another go at making dreams come true. Louis The King was one such star. He was unwanted at the KZN Yearling Sale and later sold off for R60 000. He went on to become a Triple Crown winner in 2014, the first since Horse Chestnut.
Kommetdieding is another, also unwanted by expert eyes and sold to owner Ashwin Reynolds for R50 000. He went on to win last year’s Vodacom July. Katak, now aimed at an upcoming R11-million Grade One race in Singapore is another, also glossed over and sold to Marsh Shirtliff for around R50 000. Even the great Pocket Power was bought for R190 000 and earned R10-million in stakes.
But for every fairytale success story there are hundreds of expensive “failures”. Those are the ones you don’t hear about, but they are in the majority.
Yet, everyone is in the horse racing industry for a reason. Punters love to punt, they love the thrill of backing a winner. An owner gets various pleasures, but they come at a cost. However, no one is more important than the other in this sport. An entire stable consists of a well-oiled team, with the head trainer being the “face” of this stable.
On Sunday at Kenilworth the 2021 CTS Ready To Run Sale auction is being held at Kenilworth, with the gallops taking place on Friday at the course, followed by a day’s racing on Sunday. It’s an important event in the annual calendar and one in which owners get a chance to see their fancy galloping on the track, which talks to the “Ready To Run” theme. It’s considered less guesswork than viewing at a yearling sale, but then the price you pay is also higher.
Between Friday’s gallops and Sunday’s auction, which is also online, is the R900 000 CTS De Grendel Ready To Run Stakes over 1400m. This is a brilliant carrot for those buying at each year’s RTR Sale. Basically, 16 horses bought at the previous year’s Sale contest this race, with first place being R460 000 and stake money (R17 000) offered down to eighth. It’s a sort of “thank you” to those who attended the previous sale.
The betting suggests this year’s race is wide open, with the 7-01 joint favourites being the Eastern Cape raider Whatever Next, along with two Justin Snaith-trained fillies, Homely Girl and Queen Of Shadows. The latter is drawn No4 in this 1400m race, and the draw is of huge importance – although, strangely, in this event in previous years it hasn’t been of much significance, so bear that in mind.
Drawn worst of all is the Candice Bass-Robinson-trained Dancetildaylight who can’t be left out of anything. Aldo Domeyer rides and the stable has been in sublime form – as proven last weekend when winning both features. In this column last weekend we suggested backing the stable to win those two features and include Whoa Whoa Whoa in a multiple. It came home at 24-1, which was a tidy profit.
Bass-Robinson is still worth following this weekend and apart from Friday at Fairview, Tchaikovsky and Charlie Squadron catch my eye as a possible double on Saturday, and don’t ignore Dancetildaylight (pictured) in the main race. Perhaps take this filly and Homely Girl as floating bankers in the main race in the quartet.