Muzi Yeni goes into tomorrow’s Gauteng Summer Cup confident that War of Athena can bring him his first win in this Grade 1 race.
“I have a healthy respect for Malmoos and Got the Greenlight,” he said.
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“Malmoos is the Triple Crown champion and Got the Greenlight has won five Grade 1s.
“But I firmly believe War of Athena has a big winning chance.
“She really impressed in her preparation run at Turffontein.
“She had come back from a long break and we didn’t have her quite at a good fitness level. We were just hoping for a good run which would bring her on and tell us where we were with her.
“But suddenly over the two to three weeks before her comeback run, she turned it around on us – that run was excellent and amazing.”
The race was a Pinnacle Stakes over 1,400m and War of Athena had to give 10kg to last season’s champion two-year-old filly Rain in Holland.
“When she goes to the course, she is not always the greatest of starters,” said Yeni.
“But this time she got out quickly and I rode the race keeping my eye on Rain in Holland.
“We came into the straight together and from the 600m, I knew I had the race won. The result was never in doubt.”
After that race War Of Athena was given an easy week, but has since had two gallops.
“That break did her the world of good and she’s in a good space right now.
“She’s got a good draw and has come on brilliantly from the win. “I think she is the horse to beat. I have watched all of [the other two runners’] preps and I feel she’s had the best of the three.
“How she runs in the Cup will determine whether she then goes to the Cape Met or runs in the Paddock Stakes.”