Sum­mer Cup en­tries in the spot­light

Business Day - - SPORT - David Mol­lett Rac­ing Writer

The per­for­mances of four San­sui Sum­mer Cup hope­fuls — Abashiri, Brazuca, Liege and Mas­ter Switch — will be closely mon­i­tored in the eighth race at Turf­fontein on Satur­day.

The quar­tet all fea­ture in the ante-post mar­ket on the Cup with book maker Lance Michael quot­ing Abashiri at 16-1, Liege at 20-1 and both Mas­ter Switch and Brazuca on of­fer at 25-1.

Un­ques­tion­ably, the most in­ter­est­ing of this quar­tet is Triple Crown win­ner Abashiri, who re­turns to rac­ing after an ab­sence of 40 weeks.

The Azzie sta­ble in­mate has not raced since trail­ing in last in the Queen’s Plate at Ke­nil­worth in Jan­uary. Mike and Adam Azzie have kept faith with jockey Karl Zech­ner, who has rid­den the son of Go Deputy in the ma­jor­ity of his races.

It is prob­a­ble we have not yet seen the best of Liege and the Dy­nasty geld­ing — run­ner-up in last sea­son’s Vic­tory Moon Stakes — will have his odds trimmed for the Cup if he turns in a good ef­fort on Satur­day.

Al­though his third plac­ing in the 2016 Sum­mer Cup is proof of his abil­ity, Mas­ter Switch is a moody in­di­vid­ual and was never a fac­tor when An­ton Mar­cus rode the Jet Mas­ter geld­ing in the Cup Trial at Greyville in June. Cal­lan Mur­ray has been booked for Satur­day’s ride.

Brazuca, an Aussie-bred son of Te­ofilio, is one of the best horses in Jo­han Janse van Vu­uren’s sta­ble and has earned close to R2m in stakes. It ap­pears his reg­u­lar pilot, Gavin Ler­ena, may have lost con­fi­dence in the five-year-old as he part­ners Mas­ter Switch’s sta­ble­mate Ban­ner Hill.

So the 1,600m race looks a teaser for pun­ters and the safest route may be to side with a horse who has had two out­ings this term, Shukamisa. Or­mond Fer­raris’s Sil­vano geld­ing has fewer miles on the clock than many of his ri­vals and has the

ser­vices of An­thony Delpech.

Best Kept Se­cret could pro­vide Delpech with an­other win­ner in the fi­nal leg of the Pick 6. The filly ran a cred­itable fourth in her post maiden race and can take ad­van­tage of a favourable draw to beat Di­a­mond Noir and Sun Sen­tinel.

Mike de Kock, who trains Best Kept Se­cret, could also cap­ture the sev­enth race with his Var filly Only To Win. This is a com­pet­i­tive progress plate in which a num­ber of three-yearolds boast good form, in­clud­ing Let It Flow, Aure­lia Cotta, Dame Kelly and Only To Win’s sta­ble com­pan­ion Sil­ver Thurs­day.

An­other De Kock in­mate who will also be rid­den by Delpech is Ha­keem, who shaped with con­sid­er­able prom­ise in his three starts as a ju­ve­nile. The son of Re­doubte’s Choice will be tough to beat if any­where near his peak.

Fly­ing Free looks the one most likely to take ad­van­tage if Ha­keem is in need of the run.

Lucky Houdalakis’s filly An­nie The Great will ap­pre­ci­ate re­vert­ing to the min­i­mum trip in the third race. Flow­ers from a brook will be worth a check in the bet­ting mar­ket.

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