SPENCER Cook of The Rock Farm near the famous Paarl Rock, Western Cape, reckons his 14 two-year-olds on offer at this year’s CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale are by far the best he’s consigned.
Cook believes the winner of the 2017 Ready To Run Stakes will be a graduate of The Rock, who breeds and pinhooks horses for clients and pre-trains them on the sand track at the farm. He has been active at the last several R2R Sales.
Cook said: “I have an affinity with this sale. It is without a doubt the best sale to buy and sell horses. You can see them all run at the gallops, see how they move, which is absolutely vital to my mind. If they move well, stride out in the gallops, that’s the way they will run on the racetrack.
“I bought last year’s R2,5-million Ready To Run winner Budapest as a yearling from Johan Loftus for R30,000 and sold him to Gavin van Zyl’s yard for R160,000. That was a proud moment, I lead him in with the owners. I’d like to breed the winner next and there is a chance that he or she could be in my draft this year. They are an exceptional group of young horses.”
Cook described Lot 11, Dyno Man, as a “world class” specimen. He’s a grey son of Dynasty and Hasta Aqui (Model Man), a half-brother to Dynastic from the well-performed family of Grey Arrow. He said: “Dynasty is a great stallion and when you buy one you have a good chance of getting a good horse. Of course not all Dynasty’s runners are stars, but Dyno Man, I can tell you, is tops. He’ll be a racehorse!”
The Rock has two Pathfork colts for sale. Vortex Star (Lot 27), hails from the family of Champion Sprinter Harry’s Charm and 11-time winning Gr1 performer O’Caesour. Mark Tapley (Lot 147), is the first foal of the five-time winning Silvano mare, Malaga Belle.
“The two Pathforks are very similar horses. They have good actions, they are precocious, won’t take long to race,” said Cook.
The Rock also offers three offspring of in-demand Oratorio (IRE) and Cook told: “They’re all eye-catching. Hadarat (Lot 156) is one of my best colts and Love Talk (Lot 143) is a classic, scopy type who covers ground.”
Cook is also keen on Lot 141, Flanders, a colt by Champion Freshman Sire Gimmethegreenlight from a young mare by Captain Al. “This one is good-looking, he’s a sprinting type who will come to hand quickly.”
He singled out two more fillies as “very special”. Silver Goblet (Lot 68) is a daughter of Silvano and the Royal Chalice-mare, Celtic Chalice and Virga (Lot 6) is by Gimmethegreenlight from Predictable, by Fort Wood.
Cook said: “Silver Goblet has the Royal Chalice stamp, a classic type filly, while Virga is the quickest filly I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She is lightning fast, the speed comes from her granddam Forecast who was well-known for just running her rivals dizzy with her pace.
“I’d like to predict that Virga will win at least her first few races. It will take a very fast horse to beat her, she gives me gooseflesh.”
Cook concluded: “A few weeks before this year’s sale I feel like a trainer who is lining up several horses for big races. I am truly excited with our prospects.”
The CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale gallops will take place on Friday, 14 October, starting at 9:30. The sale starts at 6pm on Saturday, 15 October. View the catalogue online at www.capethoroughredsales.com
Photo: Spencer Cook with Lot 6, Virga.