Mike de Kock will be looking for his 10th Betway Summer Cup triumph and he certainly holds a potent hand in the R2.5-million Grade 1 race over 2,000m at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday.
He has four runners in the 19-horse field, including the top three in the betting.
De Kock’s quartet
His quartet of runners comprises Hollywoodbets Durban July winner Sparkling Water, Grade 1 Daily News 2000 champion and Durban July third-placed Safe Passage, Grade 1 SA Derby winner Aragosta and Grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes victor MK’s Pride.
The final field for the Betway Summer Cup was announced on Monday and barrier positions for the big race were drawn at a function that evening.
Overall, De Kock’s runners all drew well. Sparkling Water drew No 5, MK’s Pride No 6, Safe Passage No 10 and Aragosta No 15.
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“I’m happy,” said De Kock, “especially for Aragosta to be on the outside. I think he’s a better horse on the outside, especially in a big field.
“For the rest of my runners, the draws are absolutely perfect.
“Look, it always helps to have a good draw so that you don’t have to rethink things, but in terms of their style of racing and the planning, I’m happy with where they all drew.”
Horses from the stables of three trainers dominate the field with 13 of the 19 runners. De Kock has four, as does Johan Janse van Vuuren, while Sean Tarry has five.
While Janse van Vuuren has yet to win this race, Tarry will be looking for his sixth winner and, in fact, has won four of the last five Summer Cups.
22-10 Sparkling Water; 28-10 Safe Passage; 7-1 Aragosta; 12-1 Puerto Manzano, Litigation; 18-1 William Robertson, Red Saxon, Nebraas; 28-1 Pyromaniac, MK’s Pride; 40-1 Second Base; 50-1 Astrix, Super Silvano, Light Of The Moon; 80-1 Jamaila, Shango, Zillzaal, Raiseahallelujah, Divine Odyssey