When it comes to the R2m Sansui Summer Cup, trainer Geoff Woodruff has dominated the race in recent years in much the same way Roger Federer has ruled Wimbledon.
The five-time champion trainer has won the past four runnings of the big Turffontein race scoring with Yorker (2013), Louis The King (2014) and Master Sabina in both 2015 and 2016. So it is no great surprise that Woodruff is launching another bid to win the race scheduled for Turffontein on November 25.
In the first entries for the Cup, Woodruff has a total of 11 in the 63 horses nominated while Sean Tarry has put in 12 from his stable. It means that they have a third of the entries.
The best-known of Woodruff’s entries is Deo Juvente — winner of the Champions Challenge in April — but the gelding is getting a bit long in the tooth and may battle against improving younger rivals.
Pagoda and Go Direct are talented nominations and Woodruff will not be preparing Master Sabina this year as the dual Cup winner is now in the care of Turffontein trainer Joe Soma.
Tarry’s nominations are headed by the evergreen French Navy with two up-and-coming performers in Samurai Blade and Social Order.
Former champion Mike de Kock also has a strong entry and it includes Another Russia, Kilrain, Cascapedia, Orchid Island and Smokey Affair.
Weiho Marwing has entered Gold Cup winner, Hermoso Mundo, who is unbeaten since joining his stable.
De Kock sends just two runners to Thursday’s meeting at Turffontein, but Saheera makes plenty of appeal following her pleasing recent debut.
The chief threat to Saheera is likely to be Alec Laird’s Ideal World filly Summer Sun.
Gavin Lerena rode a winner for Woodruff on Tuesday and it will be a shock if this combination does not capture the second race with Hampton Court.
Lerena won on Lebanese Tractor two weeks ago and teams up with Paul Peter’s filly again in the fifth race. This is a tougher assignment with both Tarry’s runners, Goodytwoshoes and Emily Jay, making plenty of appeal on form.
Although Goodytwoshoes has won three of her past four starts, the selection is Emily Jay, who drops in class and bumped into a top sort in Guns And Roses when last seen in action at Thursday’s track in July.
Muzi Yeni has enjoyed considerable success for Robbie Sage’s stable recently and he can notch another win for the stable when he partners Loyal Lieutenant in the fourth race.
This looks a weak race and the son of Captain Al should not be hard-pressed to beat London Fog who could be the right horse to take in swinger bets.
Bookies might battle to settle on a favourite in the eighth race, but the short list will include Queen At War, Golden Attitude, Prosperity and Piere Strydom’s mount Catwalk Tease.