Sport » Horses
He is drawn 20 out of the 22 entrants; he is set to carry 60kg – more than any horse has carried to victory in this race – and he’s just turned eight, an age at which most racehorses are enjoying retirement in a grassy paddock with nice countryside views.
Yet bookmakers have priced up It’s My Turn as 2-1 favourite for the Gold Cup, to be run at Greyville on 29 August.
The early betting for South Africa’s premier long-distance race might be a reflection on the quality of the rest of the field and on the quality of stayers in the country as a whole, but it is nonetheless testament to a good and brave horse.
Second favourite is Marchingontogether at 4-1, before a massive gap in the odds to 15-1 for a clutch of horses – another sign of serious weakness in the stamina ranks.
It’s My Turn won the Gold Cup in 2018, a year in which he made a clean sweep of all the major staying races in the KwaZulu-Natal winter season.
The prizes of the rest of the country’s marathons looked there for the taking, but that prospect was snatched away by a career-threatening injury. Trainer Dean Kannemeyer and owner Fred Crabbia took a well-calculated punt on the mighty son of Dynasty having the grit and determination to fight his way back to fitness and tilt once more at golden treasures.
They bet correctly: It’s My Turn ran two promising comeback efforts at Scottsville in June and July, before lining up in the Vodacom Durban July.
He finished a commendable fifth in that fast-run race and had every punter murmuring, “Gold Cup”.
Indeed, some might reckon he is fair value at 2-1. The draw is not a defining factor over the Greyville 3 200m. The 60kg is a formidable burden for the long and winding road, but his 2018 win was with just 0.5kg less.
Marchingontogether, from the stable of Gavin van Zyl, is the obvious danger, having overhauled and beaten It’s My Turn in one of those Scottsville prep races.
At five, he’s much younger and, possibly, more athletic. In June, he pulverised the opposition in yielding going in the3 400m Lonsdale Stirrup Cup, a traditional Gold Cup pointer.
Many of his rivals that day take him on again in the Gold Cup. So, is it a two-horse race, as the bookies would have it? It certainly looks that way. But racing’s a funny old game and punters with
long memories will recall the Gold Cup throwing up many an upset.
The likes of Eyes Wide Open, Factor Fifty, Dark Moon Rising, Imperial Ruby, Sunshine Silk and Shenanigans are all decent stayers and have trainers well able to plan to strike if the leading players falter.
Gold Cup Betting:
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