The incredible excitement of Joburg’s oldest and greatest race will unfold at Turffontein on Saturday and the cards are heavily stacked in favour of one-time Summer Cup king Mike de Kock breaking his long drought in the event.
Little more than a decade ago nearly everything De Kock touched in the Summer Cup turned to gold and Flirtation’s triumph in 2010 gave the Randjesfontein trainer an astounding ninth Cup winner.
But De Kock’s river of gold in the Cup dried up and in recent years trainer Sean Tarry has emulated De Kock’s former dominance, winning four of the last five editions of this historic race, which was first run in 1887 after the discovery of gold on the farm Langlaagte the previous year.
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Tarry will send a five-horse army to Turffontein in a bid to win the Cup for the sixth time, but this time De Kock does not lack firepower and will unlimber a formidable battery of big guns for the contest.
The 2,000m distance may prove too far for his charge MK’s Pride, but stablemates Sparkling Water, Safe Passage and Aragosta all have solid claims.
The pick of the De Kock quartet has to be late-maturing Sparkling Water, who demolished the opposition in the Durban July five months ago. You have to be good, really good, to win a July in that manner and a
repeat performance should see her clinch another Cup triumph for De Kock.
And there could not be a more appropriate winner, given that she’s owned by the Wilgerbosdrift Stud of Mary Slack, who came to Gauteng horseracing’s rescue when it faced financial ruin a couple of years back.
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The Summer Cup, now sponsored by global online betting company Betway, has long been one of the social and horseracing highlights of the year in Johannesburg and this year’s raceday will deliver sizzling excitement and entertainment from start to finish.
Those heading to Turffontein can look forward to a glittering kaleidoscope of high fashion and gleaming thoroughbreds, plus a unique halftime show headlined by South African songbird Lady Zamar that will usher in the big race.
With the Cup and five other feature races, horseracing fans are in for a feast of quality racing action and TAB has ratcheted up the excitement with a R2-million Pick 6 carryover, which should generate a total pool of some R10 million, plus a R500 000 Quartet carryover on the main race.
No matter whether you catch the action at the track, in a TAB or in your lounge, don’t miss it. Cup Day will be horseracing dynamite!