Leading bookmakers ducked for cover by slashing the odds on Bingwa for the Betway Summer Cup following the five-year-old gelding’s commanding victory in the Charity Mile at the weekend.
Johan Janse van Vuuren’s charge is quoted at 16-1 by some sports books – after opening at 28-1 in late September when first entries for the Summer Cup were unveiled. However, punters prepared to shop around can still get as much as 30-1 with some layers on the now two-time Charity Mile champ.
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The Summer Cup favourites remain the Mike de Kock-trained duo of Safe Passage and Sparkling Water – at 7-2 and 4-1 respectively.
A new slate of odds for Joburg’s biggest race are among a cascade of new info for punters to wade through at the dawn of a fateful November.
A new Summer Cup log of “probables” has also been released, topped by Safe Passage, Bingwa, Sparkling Water and Red Saxon.
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Among the scratchings announced on Monday were Hoedspruit, who ran a bad last in the Charity Mile and convinced his Cape Town-based trainer Justin Snaith to abandon a Highveld foray this year. Hoedspruit had been as short as 16-1 for the Cup.
As impressive as Bingwa’s performance was in beating stable mate Puerto Manzano (by 2.50 lengths), Safe Passage (3.75 lengths) and Red Saxon (4.25 lengths), the 1600m of that race is a different proposition to the Summer Cup’s testing 2000m – which will suit runner-up, third and fourth (and others) a lot more.
Nonetheless, the handicappers were impressed enough by Bingwa’s win to immediately hike his merit rating a full five points – from 118 to 123 – while leaving Puerto Manzano and Safe Passage untouched. This makes Bingwa, until Saturday something of a top-division “journeyman”, the third highest-rated entry for the Cup – behind William Robertson and Astrix.
The latter two are among a gaggle of Summer Cup hopefuls who will be stepping out in the Victory Moon Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
Grabbing the limelight in this Grade 2 event will be Durban July champion Sparkling Water, with trainer De Kock also saddling Aragosta – something of a Cup dark horse at 16-1 currently.
All these Victory Moon runners are assured of a spot in the Summer Cup, being high on the log, and will be using the outing as a warm-up for the big one on 26 November.
At the other end of the scale, the Victory Moon is a “last chance saloon” for Cup aspirants such as 2019 winner Zillzaal, Outofthedarkness and Super Silvano – and maybe even Perfect Witness (16th on the 20-horse log) and Zeus (17th)
The Summer Cup picture is as clear as mud – but that won’t deter avid punters who enjoy an absorbing puzzle.
SUMMER CUP BETTING
7-2 Safe Passage
4-1 Sparkling Water
10-1 Rain In Holland
16-1 William Robertson, Aragosta, Bingwa, Nebraas, Shangani
20-1 Puerto Manzano
25-1 MK’s Pride
28-1 Red Saxon
30-1 Litigation, Pyromaniac, Perfect Witness, Second Base
40-1 and upwards the others