MIKE de Kock bids to win the Sansui Summer Cup proudly hosted by Gauteng for an astonishing 10th time at Turffontein this Saturday and reckons all four of his runners have claims, although he says he doesn’t have a clue how Perana will fare.
Classy stayer Ilsanpietro heads his four-pronged challenge. “He’s doing extremely well and he’s coming in off two hard runs, so he’s really fit,” he said.
“The rain this week is in his favour because it should ensure that stamina comes into play and when many horses are getting tired, he’ll be getting going. And what’s nice with Ilsanpietro is that he’s versatile and can race from up there or off them. I’ll be happy for him to lead and let them come at him if there’s no pace.”
Mike will also saddle last year’s winner Flirtation, who has registered a second and two thirds in seven races since that triumph.
“I was disappointed with her last run, but I gave her more time off this time that a year ago. I’m putting blinkers on her, which is something I have wanted to do for some time. I think they will make her concentrate and try a bit harder.”
Enigmatic Perana has Mike baffled. The four-year-old looked headed for the stars when taking last year’s Victory Moon Stakes in sensational style, but hasn’t won since and trailed in last in this year’s race. Overall he gives the impression that he’s not a big fan of racing.
“I have no idea what he’ll do,” he said. “His work is great and he looks fantastic. I have a feeling a soft track will help him and he will be ridden very cold. Last time he was too keen. It’s tiresome trying to analyse him, he’ll do what he does.”
The other runner stable runner is ageing Rudra, winner of the race back in 2008. “I think the rain has made Rudra a big contender. He’s a different horse in the soft and he’s down a bit in the weights. I’m not too concerned about his No 20 draw because I have won the Cup with horses drawn 18, 19 and 20.
“Overall I think it’s fairly open. First prize for several of the runners will be a soft lead. Horses can lead from start to finish over 2000m at Turffontein with no problem and if somebody gets a free lead it will be hard to cut them back, especially on a soft track.”