Early warn­ing for Sum­mer Cup

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

THE Mike de Kock-trained Pi­etro Mascagni,sounded a warn­ing to all GBets Sum­mer Cup hope­fuls when mak­ing a fine come­back over 1450m on Satur­day on the Turf­fontein In­side track.

The day also fea­tured a few eye­catch­ing preparatyion runs for the Grand Her­itage, to be run over 1475m at the Vaal on Septem­ber 30.

Pi­etro Mascagni will come into his own this season be­ing a four-year-old by Sil­vano who was gelded dur­ing his win­ter lay­off. He should rel­ish the tough Turf­fontein 2000m of the Sum­mer Cup as he is out of a Western Win­ter mare who is a full-sis­ter to both Ice Cube, who won from 1000-1800m in­clud­ing two Grade 1s as a ju­ve­nile, and Jagged Ice, who was a Grade 2 win­ner who fin­ished sec­ond in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 and third in the Vo­da­com Dur­ban July.

The geld­ing has been at the cen­tre of con­tro­versy be­fore.

The con­nec­tions ap­pealed against the low merit of 79 rat­ing he was given af­ter his im­pres­sive de­but on Oc­to­ber 31 last year. They thus gave an inkling of how highly they re­gard him.

Clearly this was not a horse they wanted to win through the di­vi­sions with, but rather they saw him as a clas­sic con­tender.

They lost the ap­peal but Pi­etro Mascagni did still run in the Din­gaans but dis­ap­pointed. He put that be­hind him by win­ning a hand­i­cap well next time out over 1500m. He sub­se­quently fin­ished a 3,7 length fourth to the top class Sur­charge in the Tony Ruf­fel over 1400m, although he was re­ceiv­ing 4kg.

In his fi­nal start he was beaten 7,3 lengths into sixth in the Gaut­eng Guineas but was only 1,8 lengths be­hind Sur­charge.

He will have strength­ened dur­ing his lay­off and the best will be seen of him when he steps up to mid­dle dis­tances.

The Grade 2 Peer­mont Em­peror’s Palace Char­ity Mile on Novem­ber 3 would be the ob­vi­ous step­ping stone into the Sum­mer Cup, which is to be run on De­cem­ber 1.

How­ever, hav­ing won off just a 93 merit rat­ing on Satur­day, it will be touch and go whether he gets into the Char­ity Mile so the yard might think of get­ting an­other run in be­fore then to book his place. Oth­er­wise he could go for the Vic­tory Moon Stakes over 1800m on Novem­ber 9.

On Satur­day Pi­etro Mascagni set­tled nicely in mid­field un­der Randall Si­mons af­ter jump­ing from draw six of the twelve run­ners. He then used his nice stride to make up about seven lengths in the straight. He hit the front with 100m to go and held on gamely by a quar­ter of a length from no slouch in D’Ar­rivee, to whom he was giv­ing 9kg.

Pi­etro Mascagni

It was a fine ef­fort con­sid­er­ing Matthew de Kock had said he would need the run and he had to carry 61kg. Pi­etro Mascagni landed odds of 71-10.

There were a num­ber of Grand Her­itage en­tries run­ning. The Alec Laird-trained 88 merit rated Chep­ardo put in a fine prepa­ra­tion as he was caught wide for a short time from his tricky draw of eight but still man­aged to run on strongly for a one length third car­ry­ing 59kg.

It was the first start since March 31 for this seven-year-old Trippi geld­ing and he is a 22/1 shot for the Grand Her­itage. His 78 merit rated sta­ble­mate Danza ran a fair two length fourth in Satur­day’s race and is a 40/1 chance for the Grand Her­itage.

Bockscar was just a short-head fur­ther back and was fin­ish­ing liker a train. He was rac­ing off a 75 merit rat­ing and re­mains a 50/1 shot for the Grand Her­itage, but if he is one of the horses who gets in on the lower merit rated tier he will be a good con­tender.

The 86 merit rated Daf­fiq put in an eye­catch­ing prepa­ra­tion as he was fin­ish­ing strongly for sixth and on Septem­ber 30 will be hav­ing his third run af­ter a lay­off over an ideal trip so he could be fair value at 28/1.

Dan The Lad was a touch dis­ap­point­ing and is 40/1 for the Her­itage. Count Tas­silo stayed on and will come on from the run. He is 25/1. Pilou went too fast in front car­ry­ing 59,5kg and the run can prob­a­bly be ig­nored. He is a 45/1 shot.

In the pre­vi­ous race Joey Rams­den got his High­veld cam­paign rolling with a win for Rose In Bloom, who was the best weighted horse in an As­sess­ment Plate over 1450m but was al­lowed to go off at 61-20 as it was her first start since June.

Snow­dance

This four-year-old Gim­methe­green­light filly ran un­placed in two starts in KZN but had shown her class dur­ing the Cape Sum­mer, fin­ish­ing a 1,8 length third to Snow­dance in the Grade 1 Ma­jorca Stakes over 1600m and a two length sec­ond to Mag­i­cal Won­der­land in the Grade 2 Cartier Scep­tre Stakes over 1200m.

She fol­lowed that up by fin­ish­ing run­ner up in both the Grade 3 Prix du Cap and Listed Sweet Ch­est­nut Stakes, both over 1400m.

On Satur­day she jumped from a plum draw of two un­der Piere Stry­dom. She broke well and Stry­dom was able to set­tle her in mid­field on the rail.

The tall filly showed a fine turn of foot in the straight plus an ex­tra gear in the fi­nal stages, with­out be­ing put un­der pres­sure and won cosily by halfa-length from the US$500,000 CTS Mile third-placed Rings And Things.

The De Kock-trained three-year-old Var filly Ghaalla prob­a­bly has high ex­pec­ta­tions this season and made a fair come­back, fin­ish­ing 2,5 lengths back in fifth from a wide draw. Rings And Things, for­merly trained by Candice Bass-Robin­son and now trained by Ash­ley For­tune, is a 25/1 shot for the Grand Her­itage.

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