Horse racing on wet track. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Horse racing on wet track. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Highveld bookmaker Lance Michael predicts that "cream will rise to the top" and expects big runs from Abashiri and Brazuca in Saturday’s R2m Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein.

"There is the possibility of a ‘roughie’ result, but my 1-2-3 of Abashiri, Brazuca and Pagoda represents class horses, with Michael Azzie’s runner looking really good value at his current odds of 9-1," Michael said.

As a winner of the Triple Crown, Abashiri has a huge following yet Michael says that he faces two tough rivals, Brazuca and Pagoda. Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren has said Brazuca is the stable fancy despite being a 15-1 chance in betting and stablemate Crowd Pleaser quoted third favourite at 15-2.

As the Charity Mile form will not hold up in Saturday’s race, he does not regard that race’s runner-up, Social Order, as a possible winner. He sponsors champion trainer Sean Tarry and says the stable’s best chance may rest with Tilbury Fort, who is an 18-1 chance in the ante-post market.

Michael makes Pagoda the pick of Geoff Woodruff’s runners and says the gelding will probably continue the stable’s outstanding form in the contest.

The 61-year-old conditioner has won the last four runnings with Yorker (2013), Louis The King (2014) and Master Sabina (2015 and 2016). Because the filly Orchid Island hails from the powerful stable of Mike de Kock, Michael respects her chance but she is now the 6-1 favourite.

Abashiri represents better value, he says.

The De Kock team has four runners at Thursday’s meeting at the Vaal and both Crown Court and The Red List rate each-way chances in the opening event — a Work Riders event over 1,500m. In this race, Tarry’s four-year-old Hope Solo makes the most appeal.

Callan Murray will partner the newcomer Decision Time in the fourth race and the market will be the best guide to the chance of this R170,000 son of Await The Dawn. Of the horses that have raced, Premier Show and Ace Of Speed have shown their ability. Piere Strydom rides the former for trainer Clinton Binda. The three-year-old has been placed three times and cost just R30,000.

De Kock’s Silvano colt Royal Crusade returns from a break in the sixth race, but seems sure to be competitive against the likes of Silvan Saint and Ekuseni. The performance of Silvan Saint will be closely monitored.

Punters looking for a long shot might risk a few rand on Ryan Munger’s mount Woody Cape in the final event on the card. The Silvano gelding carries just 53kg in this 2,000m race.

The likely favourite is Gavin Lerena’s mount Holy Joe, who ran well behind Summer Cup hope Wind Chill last time out.

In the first leg of the jackpot, Paul Peter’s four-year-old Exclusively Trendy will bid to recoup recent losses.

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