Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

UK bookies often offer fancy bets on big races, and Gauteng bookmaker Lance Michael has taken a leaf out of their book by offering 5-4 about trainer Mike de Kock winning Saturday’s
G-Bets Summer Cup.

Michael’s phones could be ringing off the hook as De Kock has five runners in the R2m race — Takingthepeace (5-1 favourite), Cascapedia (11-2 second favourite), Noble Secret (17-2 third favourite), Like A Panther (13-1) and outsider Kilrain.

De Kock is bidding to win Turffontein’s most important race for the 10th time and Michael feels his best chance may lie with Randall Simon’s mount Noble Secret.

"We’ve been keen on Noble Secret since the entries were announced and, despite a rather disappointing last run, expect him to be right there at the finish on Saturday," said Michael.

Simons, who knows Noble Secret well, will have to overcome a wide draw on owner Costa Livanos’s horse, whereas both Takingthepeace and Cascapedia drew favourably when the barrier positions were declared last week.

Punters who take the 5-4 bet will be aware there are three major dangers to De Kock’s quintet — Anton Marcus’ mount It’s My Turn trained by Dean Kannemeyer, Tilbury Fort from the top stable of Sean Tarry and Robbie Sage’s representative Coral Fever winner of the 2018 Champions Challenge and Emperors Palace Charity Mile.

Comments on social media suggest the 2018 Cup field is one of the weakest in recent years so Coral Fever — even with top-weight of 60kg — has a very real chance of notching his third big race win of 2018.

This column’s view is that De Kock’s runner Like A Panther appeals as a good place chance despite a wide draw.

Piere Strydom is confident his mount Sabina’s Dynasty
(13-1), will not be far away. After the mare was drawn in pole position, he said: "What makes me believe we can be competitive is the way she finished off her race last time."

Former champion jockey S’manga Khumalo, who rides Social Order in the Summer Cup, has some interesting mounts at the Vaal on Tuesday, notably Sweet Red.

A daughter of sensational stallion Snitzel, Sweet Red romped home by nine lengths to win her maiden race three weeks ago and looks on a handy mark with just 52,5kg to carry in this 1,600m contest.

Nevertheless, this is going to be a stern test for Johan Janse van Vuuren’s runner as she faces two formidable rivals in King Of The Sky and Protea
Paradise. King Of The Sky, a daughter of Silvano, looks well above average while the De Kock yard has engaged Gavin Lerena to partner their Dynasty colt Protea Paradise.

Coral Fever’s stablemate Greenwood Drive also enters calculations following his recent success, but may find it tough conceding 5kg to Protea Paradise and 7½kg to Sweet Red.

The handicapper has lowered the merit-rating of Zerodarkthirty so this Tarry inmate, also to be ridden by Khumalo, appeals as a good each-way chance in the seventh race.

Muzi Yeni’s mount William Nicol is the likely favourite here so the swinger with Zerodarkthirty could be the best way to bet on the race.