Horses jump a fence during a hurdle race at the Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire, western England. Picture: REUTERS
Horses jump a fence during a hurdle race at the Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire, western England. Picture: REUTERS

According to Gauteng bookmaker Lance Michael, punters who lost money on Hawwaam in the Queen’s Plate and Sun Met can recoup those losses at Turffontein on Saturday.

Hawwaam, a member of Mike de Kock’s stable and earner of R5.6m in stakes during the 2018/2019 season, is hot favourite for the grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at the city track.

“I feel evens would be a good price for him on Saturday. Our current price is 9-10,” said Michael.

De Kock will also saddle Soqrat in the 1,600m race. “He’s proved himself over the distance and rates the danger to the favourite.”

Hawwaam will have a new jockey in the saddle with young Callan Murray entrusted with the ride. In the colt’s previous races, it has been either Anton Marcus or Gavin Lerena who has been in the irons.

The pity about Saturday’s meeting — which also features the SA Derby and Oaks — is that there will be no spectators at Turffontein because of Covid-19 restrictions.

In the Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks, Summer Pudding will bid to secure the Triple Tiara bonus and Paul Peter’s talented filly is another short-priced favourite with 6-10 the price on Thursday.

Michael and this writer are on the same page in this 2,450m event as we both feel Sean Tarry’s filly Victoria Paige can topple the market leader.

“I can see her [Summer Pudding] drifting from her price of 6-10,” said Michael.

The case for Victoria Paige centres on the draw. In the Gauteng Fillies Guineas, Tarry’s three-year-old was drawn in the bush but will jump from pole position this time. Summer Pudding will have to overcome barrier 13.

In the SA Derby the trio of Gotthegreenlight, Shango and Youcanthurrylove all share favouritism at 3-1. Murray rides the first-named so he has a realistic chance of winning two group races on the afternoon.

Following a fruitless trip to the Cape, Gotthegreenlight returned to his top juvenile form last time out and trainer Joe Soma will be optimistic about landing another important prize.

Lerena retains the ride on the Tarry inmate Shango and his price has shortened during the week from 33-10 to 3-1.

Fabian Habib has made a bright start to his training career and his runner Youcanthurrylove will have his supporters with his regular pilot S’Manga Khumalo doing the steering.

One of the best races on the card should be the third, which looks an intriguing contest between two useful fillies from the top stables of Peter and Tarry. Portico, the mount of Piere Strydom, represents Peter and Lyle Hewitson will be aboard Tarry’s runner Slalom Queen.

Portico faces no easy task in conceding 4.5kg to Slalom Queen, and punters might consider coupling this filly in a double with Victoria Paige in the Oaks.

BIG RACE BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

HORSE CHESTNUT STAKES

9-10 Hawwaam

7-2 Soqrat

7-1 Cirillo

11-1 Tierra Del Fuego, Queen Supreme

16-1 Others

SA DERBY

3-1 Gotthegreenlight, Shango, Youcanthurrylove

5-1 Leopold

14-1 Others

SA OAKS

6-10 Summer Pudding

4-1 Victoria Paige

5-1 Marygold

14-1 Keep Smiling

25-1 Others

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (1) Fireworks (8) Semecence (4) Samara (3) Acorn Alley

2nd Race: (2) Dubawi Princess (1) Afternoon Tea (4) Greens (5) Top Drawer

3rd Race: (5) Slalom Queen (1) Portico (4) Elusive Woman (2) Karnallie

4th Race: (2) Crank It Up (1) Immeasurable (3) Untamed Tiger (6) Great Esteem

5th Race: (1) Arnica Montana (10) Lord Melbourne (11) Take The World (3) Waltzing Al

6th Race: (2) Blossom (4) Wisteria Walk (1) Vistula (3) Return Flight

7th Race: (3) Victoria Paige (1) Summer Pudding (2) Marygold (4) Keep Smiling

8th Race: (2) Hawwaam (1) Soqrat (3) Cirillo (5) Tierra Del Fuego

9th Race: (2) Gotthegreenlight (3) Youcanthurrylove (1) Shango (4) Leopold

10th Race: (11) Flichity By Farr (1) Divine Odyssey (12) Sunshine Silk (10) Factor Fifty