Rain sees Summer Cup postponed
INCLEMENT weather has played a major part in racing this weekend with Friday night’s Greyville meeting abandoned after the running of the second because of persistent lightning.
Persistent rain was the culprit yesterday putting paid to the day’s Summer Cup proceedings at Turffontein, but weather permitting it will go ahead this afternoon in conjunction with today’s Greyville poly meeting and punters should take note of the change of times.
Brett Crawford’s satellite yard got off to a winning start last Saturday when Parabola opening the batting for the yard but Crawford will no doubt leave the business of saddling Hero Quest in the fourth at Greyville today to KZN assistant Peter Muscutt.
Hero Quest returns to the track after a five month lay-off but had smart maiden form in the Cape before making all the running to break his duck.
The son of Ideal World is a five-year-old with only 8 races on the clock so it would appear that he has issues. It may also be significant that his maiden win came in yielding going. He steps out on the poly for the first time also sporting blinkers, and he could prove the one to beat.
Marsala looks to be a smart filly, having won two of her three starts for Michael Roberts, and she lines up in the fifth. She was only four lengths adrift of Princess Peach in the Debutante Stakes last season and made a winning seasonal debut beating the useful Fiorella.
She makes her poly debut from a good draw and looks the part although it will not be easy. Accidental Tourist goes for a winning hat-trick and Poster Girl has her second outing for her new stable with Mark Dixon saddling a treble last Saturday.
Cumulus ran a cracking race on the Highveld last time out, finding a Mike de Kock cracker in Mujaafy too strong but a good field behind him. Anthony Delpech is back on board and they could round off the meeting for Nathan Kotzen and former Msunduzi City Manager Rob Haswell.
Geoff Woodruff, South Africa’s ‘Cup King’ having wrested the title from Mike de Kock, bids for his fifth victory in succession in the Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein today.
Woodruff saddles two runners in Master Switch and Pagoda, the latter possibly the stable pick.
Last season didn’t end well for Pagoda as KZN and Champions Season proved a bridge too far after a busy schedule.
He failed to feature in either the Gr1 Daily News 2000 or the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July, but he had shown in his build-up to Champions Season that he was a runner with a future.
Earlier Pagoda carried top weight in the Derby Trial which he landed with the minimum of fuss and then ran the Dubai-bound Al Sahem to just under two lengths in the Gr1 SA Derby. That run alone stamped him as being well above the average and today he comes into the Cup with only 52.5kg to shoulder.
Pagoda showed his well-being with an eye-catching third in a recent Pinnacle Stakes event where he carried 60kg, only getting into gear when the race was all but over. With that run under his girth and very little barring JP van der Merwe on his back, he looks a lively contender.
Champion trainer Sean Tarry, who ended last season with a record tally of winners, hit a ‘flat’ patch recently and went over 60 starts without a winner.
But his pot could come back to the boil this afternoon as he saddled 19 runners, including the trio of French Navy, Liege and Social Order in the Cup.
French Navy ran his best race for some time when accelerating into third behind Hat Puntano in the Charity Mile but it has been two years since he last found the winner’s enclosure.
Ahead of French Navy in the Charity Mile was stable companion Social Order who also finished with a rattle in a smart cup warm-up. The lightly raced gelding has yet to going beyond a mile and does take on some heavy hitters this afternoon but it is not a field that would scare the pants off anyone’s fancy.
Mac De Lago, promoted winner of the Gr1 Gold Challenge and third behind the Conglomerate in the Vodacom Durban July has been off the boil since but Weiho Marwing always has a long-term plan and that could come to a conclusion today.
Off the track since April, he made his comeback in the Charity Mile where he was prominent before his condition gave out.
He will strip a lot fitter this afternoon and you ignore at your peril.
Sean Tarry saddles FRENCH NAVY for the Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein today. S’Manga Khumalo has the ride.