KwaZulu-Natal raider faces tough rival in Soqrat
Mike de Kock is using Turffontein race to prepare Roy Had Enough for the Gauteng Summer Cup at the end of November
KwaZulu-Natal trainer Frank Robinson sends his top performer Roy Had Enough to Turffontein on Saturday, but the Aussie import faces a formidable opponent in Mike de Kock’s four-year-old, Soqrat.
Robinson is aiming his six-time winner at the Gauteng Summer Cup at the end of November and — with a merit rating of 118 — is certain to get a run in the race. So Saturday’s seventh race at the city track is part of Roy Had Enough’s Cup preparation and Piere Strydom has been booked for the ride.
Strydom was in the saddle when Roy Had Enough finished less than three lengths behind Dynasty’s Blossom in the Gold Cup so he knows the five-year-old has plenty of ability.
Soqrat is also an Australian import and the colt enjoyed an outstanding season as a three-year-old culminating in a brave effort behind Rainbow Bridge in the Champions Cup at Greyville at the end of July.
With Callan Murray at the controls for the first time, Soqrat is certain to be sent off favourite and will be tough to beat if anywhere near his peak.
Champion trainer Sean Tarry has enjoyed a successful week and fields his useful five-year-old Wonderwall, who is well drawn and set to receive 6kg from Soqrat.
The De Kock stable has three other representatives — Barahin, Noble Secret and Like A Panther. The first-named boasts a win over Soqrat last term yet failed to feature when well backed for the Durban July.
It is going to be interesting to see how Like A Panther fares on his first outing since the 2018 Summer Cup. It was this column’s view that he rated a good each-way chance at 16-1, but sadly he got motoring too late and finished sixth.
This season’s leading rider, Warren Kennedy, rides Like A Panther and the five-year-old — a R2.2m buy as a yearling — will also be equipped with blinkers.
An outsider who could earn a cheque is Flying Winger, the mount of S’manga Khumalo. Owned and trained by Alec Laird, the five-year-old has place prospects with just 54kg on his back.
Another top horse making his seasonal bow is Eden Roc, who won three of his four starts as a juvenile for Tarry and his chief patron Chris Van Niekerk. The Var colt was regarded as the banker bet on the Durban July card, but he fluffed his lines in the Premier’s Challenge finishing unplaced behind Gotthegreenlight.
Eden Roc takes on eight rivals in Saturday’s fourth race and is certain to be a warm order to beat Strydom’s mount Cockney Pride. The latter is a two-time winner and was badly drawn when unplaced in a grade 1 race at Greyville in July.
Whatever his fate on Soqrat, jockey Callan Murray will be hoping Irish-bred filly Queen Supreme can make it three wins from four starts by taking top honours in the sixth race.
Yet another talented member of the De Kock stable, Queen Supreme is bred in the purple being a daughter of the influential sire Exceed And Excel.
Summer Pudding — a daughter of Silvano out of the top mare Cherry On The Cake — also boasts an excellent pedigree and returns from an 11-week rest in the final leg of the jackpot. The Paul Peter inmate will be hard to beat if not in need of the run.
1st Race: (8) Exion (14) Tilmeeth (4) Arminius (12) Pinch Pot
2nd Race: (6) Prince Jordan (7) Master Of Masada (4) Category Four (2) Illusion
3rd Race: (1) Eskimo Kisses (5) Fortuna Doro (6) Over The Limit (3) Ponchielli
4th Race: (1) Eden Roc (5) Cockney Pride (6) Dublin Quays (9) Indy Go
5th Race: (9) Hot August (1) Bridge Of Spies (2) Hartleyfour (4) Ice Eater
6th Race: (5) Queen Supreme (3) Virginia (7) Aurelia Cotta (4) Saints Alive
7th Race: (1) Soqrat (3) Roy Had Enough (8) Wonderwall (2) Barahin
8th Race: (1) Summer Pudding (9) Long Pond (4) Kapama (13) Ufo
9th Race: (1) Starting Line (2) Midnight Top (9) Flaming Duchess (11) Sports Tattoo