Summer Cup field shaping up
HE Alec Laird-trained National Assembly gelding, Earl Of Derby, ran a cracking second in the Gr 2 Victory Moon Stakes over 1 800m at Turffontein on Saturday and this should have booked him his place in the Gr 1 Sansui Summer Cup, to be run over 2 000m on November 29.
However, he has subsequently been raised from a 95 merit rating to 100 so his weight for the Summer Cup will increase from the original 51,5kg to 54kg.
The winner of the race, Judicial, will virtually be an automatic into the final field but he was given the maximum raise of six points to 102 meaning he will carry 55kg in the big race.
Earl Of Derby was just outside the top 20 on the latest Summer Cup log, but not only did he put 5,75 lengths between himself and the third placed horse on Saturday, but he also comfortably beat two horses, Killua Castle and Knock On Wood, who were incumbents in the top 20.
Knock On Wood has since been scratched by Ormond Ferraris leaving at least one spot open.
The panellists will likely have to drop another horse out of the top 20 to make a
Tplace for Earl Of Derby, and that could provide them with a headache. Furthermore, another horse that wasn’t in the top 20, the St. John Gray-trained Everest, finished a commendable third in the Victory Moon, beating Killua Castle by 6,5 lengths, although the latter was carrying joint topweight and had to give Everest 6kg.
Earlier in the day the Sean Tarry-trained Enchanted Silk won a MR 92 Handicap over 1 800m in good style and Tarry is hoping that will be enough for her to get into the field as he rates her as his leading contender.
The four-year-old Kahal filly finished 4,85 lengths behind Jet Belle in the weight for age Gr 2 Gold Bracelet over 2 000m at the end of last season and will likely receive 4kg from her in the Summer Cup.
However, her merit rating was only raised to 93 after Saturday’s win, so she is still very much a borderline case.
The versatile Jet Belle also won on Saturday, but was well treated in the Pinnacle Stakes event and wasn’ t given a merit rated raise so remains on 103.
There were no supplementary entries into the Summer Cup on Monday, which was the the final date for entries.
ALEC LAIRD is set to saddle Earl Of Derby for the Summer Cup.