Geoff Woodruff bets on five in a row at Summer Cup
With Banner Hill injured and out of the race, trainer Geoff Woodruff will rely on Master Switch and Pagoda in his bid to win Saturday’s R2m Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein for the fifth year in a row.
Banner Hill has sustained a tendon injury which is a blow for Woodruff and jockey Grant van Niekerk, who was hoping to continue his excellent recent run in big races.
Pagoda, second behind Al Sahem in last season’s South African Derby, seems sure to go well with just 52.5kg on his back, but the 18-1 on offer about Master Switch looks appealing especially with the tote paying six places.
A more belligerent horse it would be hard to find, yet form studiers had to like the six-year-old’s third in the Victory Moon and he has the experience of Piere Strydom in the saddle.
So the selection for Gauteng’s premier race is Master Switch to beat home Brazuca, Social Order and Pagoda.
Probably the best outcome for punters would be victory for former Triple Crown hero, Abashiri, who has had this race as his chief objective for a long while. Trainer Michael Azzie believes his talented five-year-old is back to his best.
Any big race runner from Mike de Kock’s stable warrants the closest scrutiny and there has been sustained support for his filly Orchid Island in the antepost market. She will have her regular pilot Anthony Delpech in the saddle.
Durban Gold Cup winner Hermoso Mundo carries the same weight as Orchid Island, but one wonders whether he will possess the necessary acceleration at the end.
A wide draw does not help his cause and Weiho Marwing’s stayer may have to settle for a minor placing.
Johan Janse van Vuuren, a former assistant of Geoff Woodruff, has to fancy his chances of landing the R1.2m first prize with one of his four runners — Brazuca, New Predator, Girl On The Run and Crowd Pleaser.
Athough Van Vuuren insists that Brazuca is the pick of his quartet, the money has poured on Crowd Pleaser who could well give Keagan De Melo his first win in Gauteng’s most important race.
Sean Tarry is also four-handed and his team includes evergreen French Navy and Liege who has something to prove after a disappointing run in the Victory Moon Stakes.
Possibly the lightly raced Social Order will fare best of the Tarry runners as there was lots to like about his finishing effort in the Charity Mile.
The Investec Dingaans should be another highlight on the magnificent 12-race card and Tarry’s three-year-old Big Bear will be well backed to notch the fourth win of his career.
However, this grade2 race has attracted some choicely bred sorts and runners who warrant inclusion in jackpot and Pick 6 perms include Aussie-bred Alshibaa, Like A Panther, well-drawn Vacquero and Grant van Niekerk’s mount Ideal Secret.