Robert Garner
3 minute read
26 Nov 2021
8:04 am

Summer Cup: Strike it rich on Saturday

Robert Garner

The Summer Cup has the leading role in a production that contains five other feature events and comprises 10 races in all.

Kerri McMullen, from the Paul Peter Stables, poses for a photograph with Asterix, 24 November 2021, at Turffontein, ahead of the Gauteng Summer Cup which takes place 27 November. Photo: Bega

The suspense and explosive excitement of Cup Day will play out at Turffontein tomorrow and the 2021 edition of Johannesburg’s greatest horse racing event has virtually every ingredient fans of the sport adore.

The Summer Cup, presented by World Sports Betting again this year, has the leading role in a production that contains five other feature events and comprises 10 races in all.

The top horses will be there, the racing action will be as good as it gets and TAB has elevated excitement to the top floor with 10 carryovers totalling R7.1 million.

That’s massive money and will ensure payouts in the carryover pools are over the odds.

So it’s a must-play day for TAB racing customers, especially because bets like the Pick 6 could produce mega payouts.

The Pick 6 carries a R3 million carryover that should drive the total pool to about R12 million and having a chance of getting a share of the cash is as easy as picking a number in each of six races.

ALSO READ: Saturday Summer Cup: Follow Fortune at the Vaal

Only 2,500 spectators will enjoy the action in the flesh because of ongoing Covid restrictions, but millions more will follow the drama on television.

Local trainers Mike de Kock, who has won the Cup a record nine times, and Sean Tarry dominate the race numerically.

De Kock launches a three-pronged challenge headed by champion four-year-old Malmoos and Tarry, winner of the race five times in the last 12 years, has a five-strong army.

Surprisingly, De Kock’s last Cup triumph was over a decade ago in 2010 and he would love to take his tally of wins into double figures.

Malmoos, winner of the SA Triple Crown this year as a three year old, has virtually all the right credentials barring that the Cup will be only his second race after a six-month absence.

That could take its toll if he gets involved in a neck-and-neck scrap.

Shango and Seehaam look the pick of Tarry’s quintet and are must-includes for the R2 million carryover Quartet pool, while Got the Greenlight is the highest-rated runner in the field and has to be shortlisted.

But they all have to beat War of Athena, the champion three-year-old filly of last season and winner of eight races at Turffontein, including all three legs of this year’s SA Triple Tiara.

Summer Cup: Strike it rich on Saturday
Head groom Never Dzanyaza poses with War Of Athena at the Paul Matchett Stables, 25 November 2021, at the North Rand Training Center Randjesfontein ahead of the Gauteng Summer Cup, which takes place on 27 November at Turffontein Racecourse. Photo: Bega

She was impressive when making a winning return to action this month after a four-month break and should be a lot better for that run.

Muzi Yeni, who has partnered her to her last seven victories, will be in the saddle and it’s a tough combination to oppose.

Trainer Paul Peter won the Cup last year with Summer Pudding and he’s far from without hope of a quick double with Astrix, one of two runners from his yard.

The five-year-old is no Summer Pudding, but there’s much to like about his form and he’s an attractive eachway proposition at his current odds.

He could pose the biggest threat to War of Athena.

  • The Cup is scheduled for 3.35pm and it’s going to be a thriller.
  • Catch it live on SABC 3, and there will be live coverage of Cup Day from start to finish on channel 249 DStv.