Big race days and big betting pools often mean bigger-than-usual winning dividends. With monster pools a certainty for Saturday’s Gold Cup day at Greyville, punters are on full red alert.
Notably, the TAB is operating co-mingled tote on the meeting with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. This international collaboration, aka HKJC World Pool, has already proven highly successful in the local winter season and growing confidence among Hong Kong punters and others around the world for South African racing is pushing the shared tote to unheard-of levels.
Win and Place pools are estimated to reach about R8 million per race, while Swinger and Quinella pots are headed for R12 million.
Co-mingling is offered on Races 2 to 10, with the wagering rules dictated by the HKJC. The betting unit for the Win and Place is R1, with a minimum outlay of R6; while the unit for Swingers and Quinellas is R1 and the minimum is R2.
A Quinella is similar to a boxed Exacta bet – or the old Dupla that old-timers might remember.
As if that weren’t enough, the local Pick 6 aggregate (not co-mingled) is predicted to top R15 million, thanks to a R5-million carryover.
The Quartet pool on the main race, the Marshalls World of Sport Gold Cup, could reach R4 million, according to TAB.
Good news for local players is that TAB betting shops have re-opened around the country following the easing of lockdown rules this week.
Bookmaker betting on Gold Cup day – with its nine feature races, including four Grade 1s – has been open for a while, with most of the action focused on the Champions Cup, with Durban July third and fourth, Got The Greenlight and Do It Again duelling it out for favouritism.
A ton of money has been lumped on Rio Querari to win the Mercury Sprint, resulting in 9-10 odds two days before the off and barely a zac of interest in the other 13 runners.
In the Gold Cup itself, only three horses are seeing significant action – Nebraas, Silver Host and African Adventure – with last year’s pillar-to-post champion, Paths Of Victory, entirely friendless at 33-1.
Gold Cup (Race 7):
4-1 Silver Host
9-2 African Adventure
12-1 Out Of Your League
14-1 Don’t Look Back, Holy Warrior, Chitengo
20-1 and upwards the others
Mercury Sprint (Race 8):
9-10 Rio Querari
9-1 MK’s Pride
11-1 Al Sakeet
15-1 Chimichuri Run, Battle Force, True To Life, Bohica, Chantyman
25-1 and upwards the others
Champions Cup (Race 9):
11-10 Got The Greenlight
2-1 Do It Again
13-2 Jet Dark
8-1 Catch Twentytwo
14-1 Seeking the Stars
18-1 and upwards the others