THE R2-million Sansui Summer Cup day-night race meeting at Turffontein this Saturday has every ingredient horseracing fans could wish for – from Joburg’s greatest race, celebs and top horses to huge betting pools, between-races entertainment and many chances to win big.
What a meeting it’s going to be and the highlight will be champion trainer Mike de Kock’s bid to win the Summer Cup for an amazing 10th time. D
e Kock won the “old” Summer Cup three times and he’s won it six times in 13 years since Phumelela reintroduced the race in its traditional format on its traditional date back in 1999. That’s a phenomenal record and De Kock is bringing an army of horses to Turffontein in a bid to win it yet again.
He will saddle seven of the 20 runners in the Cup and they include Mujaarib and Silver Flyer, who are dominating the betting at 3-1 and 33-10 respectively at the time of writing. Both have powerful claims.
Australian import Mujaarib has won all four of his races and his most recent success was at top level – he charged through late to beat Whiteline Fever by a head in the 1600m Charity Mile at Turffontein a few weeks ago. That was an outstanding performance and given his inexperience, Mujaarib could easily improve four or five lengths on Saturday. He looks close to a good thing, but the one worry is the testing 2000m distance.
The indications are that he will stay and it’s in his favour that he has won over 1800m. But that was against weaker opposition and it would be no surprise on his pedigree if 1600m turned out to be his best distance. Silver Flyer has benefited from a long break and is back to best. He didn’t finish as fast as Mujaarib in the Charity Mile, but ran on well and was only two lengths back in fourth.
He would have been third but for being hampered late and is 2kg (the equivalent of two lengths) better off with Mujaarib. Like his stablemate, he has yet to prove he gets a tough 2000m, but he ran on well at the finish of the 1800m SA Classic here last season and that’s pretty good evidence that he should stay. Vettel (good run in Victory Moon Stakes after a rest), Ilsanpietro (second last year) and oft-disappointing Ilha Bella look the pick of the rest of the De Kock army.
What are the chief obstacles between De Kock and another Cup win? Whiteline Fever (1kg better off with Mujaarib for Charity Mile) spearheads the opposition in spite of worries that 1600m might his best distance. Durban July runner-up Smanjemanje and Piere Jourdan (perhaps past his best) are class acts, while Victory Moon runner-up Astro News, Brooks-Club and Wagner, who trainer Joe Soma rates highly, are others to shortlist. It’s going to be fabulous. Don’t miss it!