The Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup final field and draw announcement was held amid unprecedented tension at Turffontein's stables as the panelists had appeared to face some tough decisions in choosing the most worthy 20 horses.
The R2 million race will be run over 2000m at Turffontein, South of Johannesburg on Saturday, November 29.
The Tyrone Zackey-trained Judicial had thrown a spanner in the works by winning the Gr 2 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m last weekend as he had not been in the top 20 of the final Summer Cup log. Neither had the Alec Laird-trained Earl Of Derby or the St. John Gray-trained Everest who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Victory Moon, well ahead of a couple of top 20 incumbents. The big question was which horses, if any, would be sacrificed to make space for these horses?
However, in the end the panellists only had to make two eliminations as the entry list cut down to 22. Five times champion trainer Geoff Woodruff has five horses in the final field, Alec Laird has four and both Robbie Sage and St. John Gray have two a piece. Four out of province trainers have one runner a piece, KZN's Gavin van Zyl and Charles Laird, and the Western Cape's Brett Crawford and Joey Ramsden. Van Zyl has the topweight No Worries, who ran a cracking second in the Peermont Emperor's Palace Charity Mile.
Charles Laird runs the exciting prospect Bold Inspiration. He is untested at this level, but is a big, long striding sort who should love the Turffontein Standside track. Crawford will try and make history by claiming a rare Gold Cup and Summer Cup double with Wavin' Flag. Ramsden runs the recent Algoa Cup winner Disco Al, an improving sort who will also love the galloping nature of the track.
There are three fillies in the race, the Sage-trained Jet Belle, the Joey Soma-trained Gr 1 SA Fillies Classic winner Athina and the Sean Tarry-trained Enchanted Silk. Athina has already proved she loves this course, although the 2000m will be at the upper limit of her stamina range.
The versatile Jet Belle was impressive when winning the Gr 2 Gold Bracelet over this distance at the end of last season at Greyville and will be fancied by many as she is full of class. Read More