Charities eagerly await another bonanza at Charity Mile
Prospective beneficiaries pair with horses and celebrities to battle it out for a share of R1m
It is an annual date that heads of Gauteng charities circle in their diaries — the Emperors Palace Charity Mile at Turffontein when the winning charity will receive R150,000.
The race day at the city track — this year on November 2 — is unquestionably one of the highlights on the racing calendar when 16 charities are paired with a horse in the race and a celebrity to battle it out for a share of R1m.
In 2018 the winning horse was Coral Fever and the winning prize went to Khangezile Primary with Pallance Dladla as their celebrity.
A total of 37 entries have been received for the Charity Mile with Peermont Emperors Palace COO Bob Yearham announcing in September that the stake for the grade 2 race would be raised to R1m. This is good news as it was reported in Business Day on Wednesday that Phumelela would reduce stakes by 13% from the beginning of November.
Top trainer Mike de Kock has entered six horses from his stable. They are last Saturday’s Turffontein winner Soqrat, Buffalo Bill Cody, Barahin, Queen Supreme, Noble Secret and Cascapedia.
The increased prize money has resulted in a number of entries from KwaZulu-Natal stables, notably from Frank Robinson, Tony Rivalland and Robbie Hill.
Robinson has entered Roy Had Enough, unplaced behind Soqrat last Saturday, and another Aussie import, Roy's Riviera. Rivalland has nominated his recent winner Tristful, while Hill has entered his talented mare Camphoratus.
The final field for the Charity Mile will be revealed on Tuesday, October 22, with the draw taking place at Emperors Palace Casino Resort the following day.
Work Riders are in the spotlight in Thursday's eight-race card at the Vaal and punters will be looking to Cjamu Mabaya to bring home the favourite, Arnica Montana, in the sixth race.
A three-year-old trained by Mike de Kock, Arnica Montana was surprisingly beaten last time out when starting at the prohibitive odds of 1-5.
Mabaya, who rode his first winner in January 2008 and whose career total stands at 66 wins, may have most to fear from Joe Gwingwizha, who partners newcomer Ice Lord for champion trainer Sean Tarry.
Ice Lord is a son of Skitt Skizzle, and Tarry has done well with the few runners he has saddled by the Bosworth Farm Stud stallion.
Sam Mosia is another talented Work Rider and he has been booked for five mounts for this season's leading trainer, Paul Peter. The pick of the quintet could be the three-year-old filly Nazareth in the final leg of the Pick 6.
A daughter of Black Minnaloushe, Nazareth has been placed in three of her last four starts and is overdue to leave the maiden ranks. Her chief rivals could be Flagship Fund and Gimme A Rock Star.
Apart from Arnica Montana, Chamu Mabaya will also be hopeful of winning the seventh race on the Captain Al colt Al Ragnar.
1st Race: (2) Anatolio (11) Urban Oasis (1) Lord Grantham (12) Wild N Grey
2nd Race: (2) Tigermil (3) Madame Patrice (4) Malteza (11) Three Peaks
3rd Race: (12) Mabella (10) Passionate Lad (1) The Russian Sailor (7) For France
4th Race: (1) Super Fine (4) Constantia (6) Seraphina (2) Luscious Locks
5th Race: (2) Pucker Up (1) Hope For Millions (4) Kisumu (11) Sea Island
6th Race: (6) Arnica Montana (5) Ice Lord (8) Whipping Boy (2) Brave Detail
7th Race: (9) Al Ragnar (6) Petersham (4) Smart Deal (2) Left Hook
8th Race: (7) Nazareth (6) Flagship Fund (10) Gimme A Rock Star (13) Riqaaby