Puerto Manzano could conquer summit of Summer Cup back to back
The way Puerto Manzano registered another win at Turffontein indicates he might yet scale even bigger heights this year.
Although Halloween is officially today – Tuesday 31 October – chances are you witnessed some traditional Halloween hustle on Saturday night.
A quarter of all sweets sold annually in the United States are purchased for Halloween weekend so no doubt the phenomenon registered another global success, but spare a thought for the children of South Africa.
Saturday evening must have been a tremendously tough gig.
Think about it, all those costume-clad candy-seeking kids setting out to search for welcome candle-light flickering from hollowed out pumpkins and turnips, only to discover their timing couldn’t have been worse.
Saturday night belonged to the Springboks in more ways than one and I suspect that guising children must have met with the same reception Pieter-Steph du Toit afforded anyone wearing a silver fern at Saint-Denis.
Trick-or-treating began early for those shrewd punters who found the winner of the Charity Mile on the weekend.
Puerto Manzano, an Argentine bred son of Seek Again is no pumpkin but at 18-1 odds this was a real ‘turnip’ for the books.
If you treated yourself to his ante-post price for next month’s Summer Cup then a secondary trick might still be forthcoming. The defending champ has now shortened to 4-1 and is the favourite to win the 25 November showpiece at his beloved Turffontein.
If I had penned this article in 523AD and not 1 500 years later I would have written that today is officially Samhain. This date had been celebrated as a pagan festival by the Celts for more than 1 000 years, until Pope Gregory III came along in the 8th century and designated it as a religious ceremony to honour all saints.
I mention Samhain not to annoy New Zealand readers but to highlight that the tradition of All Hallows Eve was preceded by centuries of human activity celebrating the end of the harvest and the beginning of the northern hemisphere winter.
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That said, I must concede Samhain does sound suspiciously like Sam Cane, the name of the All Black captain who saw red on Saturday night as the Kiwi’s experienced their own premature Halloween horror show.
It’s just a coincidence, if I was trying to annoy readers with infantile Halloween word-play I’d say something silly about a noisy Manchester neighbour scoring twice and giving his crosstown foe an Early Haal-oween bewitching.
Getting back to Puerto Manzano. What a racehorse he’s become.
He may no longer be a spring chicken but the way he swooped past a top quality field to register yet another Turffontein success tells me he might yet scale even bigger heights this year than last.
Out of interest I googled his name.
Puerto Manzano is situated in the province of Neuquén, in Argentine Patagonia. The region offers a plethora of lakes and fjords thus making Puerto Manzano a hugely popular tourist destination renowned for adventure tourism such as snowboarding, trekking and fishing.
Encompassing the most southerly mountains of the Andes, Patagonia boasts the highest point in the western hemisphere with Mount Aconcagua standing at 22 831 feet.
Being a geographical area of over 260 000 square miles, speaking in Patagonian terms Puerto Manzano and Mount Aconcagua are near neighbours. They are less than 570 miles apart.
Would it be too much to believe that at the ripe old age of six Puerto could conquer the summit of the Summer Cup back to back?
One thing’s for sure, as with the Halloween movie franchise, which collectively grossed more than $884 million worldwide, Puerto Manzano’s reappearance on Cup Day will be pure box office so make sure you book early and secure yourself a front row seat.