Jack Milner
3 minute read
25 Oct 2018
9:10 am

Hat Puntano aimed at Charity Mile double

Jack Milner

Celebrities and charities paired for R1-million race.

FIELD DAY: The excitement and glamour of the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile got rolling yesterday with announcement of the 2018 runners and charities and celebrities they’ll gallop for. Picture: Michel Bega

Two previous winners of the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile will be back at Turffontein on Saturday 3 November for another crack at the R1 million on offer for this Grade 2 race over 1600m on the Standside track.

New Predator, winner in 2016, and Hat Puntano, last year’s champion, have accepted to run in this year’s race but neither has a particularly good draw which is a huge advantage over this distance.

New Predator has landed up in No 13 draw while Hat Punta no is at No 9.

However, they both could move in slightly if the three reserve runners come out.

The Charity Mile is an unusual race in that each horse runs for a charity and each charity is represented by a celebrity and connect-ed to a media partner.

There is another R1 million from Emperors Palace to be distributed among the charities and the closer their horse finishes to the front of the pack, the more that charity will receive.

However, none of the 16 charities will go home empty handed In the case of Hat Puntana, he will run for the Peermont Education Trust University Programme.

Singer and dancer Monoea is the celebrity and the Comaro Chronicle is media partner.

Argentinian-bred Hat Puntano has only had one race since finishing unplaced in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth in January and that was in the Grade 2 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Inside track on 6 October.

He finished one from last, beaten 9.65 lengths, but trainer Mike Azzie says his charge has come along since then.

“He’s had two grass gallops and he is a different horse now,” he confirmed.

Mike and Adam Azzie still have to name a jockey for Hat Puntano but the balance of the card will only be announced on Tuesday so they have a while to decide.

The No 9 draw is not a concern for them either and the fact he has 61kg on his back is of little consequence as it is the same weight he carried to victory last year.

The Azzies were not happy when Full Mast drew one from the outside.

The good news, though, was that their third horse, Arctica, ended up with No 8 draw and with just 53kg on his back he must have some sort of chance.

The man with the most horses in the race is Sean Tarry.

He has four runners and all three reserve runners and, naturally, with seven horses, they had a mixed bag of draws. Matador Man drew pole position while Bulleting Home drew No 6, Social Oder No 12 and Tilbury Fort No 10.

The three reserve runners – Captain And Master, Desert Rhythm and Safe Harbour – drew Nos 15, 5 and 11 respectively.

“I’m very happy with the draws,” said Tarry.

Perhaps the happiest man in the room was Mathew de Kock, assistant trainer to his father, Mike.

They have one runner, Noble Secret, and he got No 4 draw. “We couldn’t have asked for be er.”The De Kock runner has been opened up as the 3-1 favourite.

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