Picture: 123RF/ MELORY S
Picture: 123RF/ MELORY S

Horse-of-the-Year Summer Pudding has taken her first step in determining whether it’s going to be a good festive season for punters or a bonanza one for bookmakers.

Trainer Paul Peter’s unbeaten filly was given a serious workout at Turffontein last Friday and the daughter of Silvano came through with flying colours.

Peter said: “Based on what I saw today, I’d say it’s all systems go for the Summer Cup. She moved well and was naturally blowing a bit at the pull-up. I am aiming to run her in a Pinnacle early in November and then straight into the Cup.”

This will be music to the ears of Summer Pudding’s legion of fans and they are sure to put their cash down on the filly at the end of November. In ante post betting, Summer Pudding is the only horse in single figures. Bookmaker Lance Michael has the four-year-old at 5-2. Hollywoodbets are shorter at 2.27.

Asked whether he thought the price would shorten or go out, Michael said this was hard to predict.

“We don’t know the final field and — at the moment — the next two in the betting are Dance Class and Queen Supreme at 10-1 and we don’t know yet whether they are running.

“What we do know is the Sean Tarry factor. He’s got a monopoly in the race and did bookmakers a favour last year when Zillzaal won at 28-1,” added Michael.

Peter is also housing the favourite Riverstown in next Saturday’s Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile with the gelding topping the betting boards at 13-2. Stablemate Astrix has also been entered and is on offer at 11-1.

Justin Snaith, who has recently opened a satellite yard in KwaZulu-Natal, is likely to raid the highveld with his Michaelmas Handicap winner Crown Towers. The five-year-old son of Camelot is second favourite at 7-1.

Tarry has seven of the 29 entries for the Mile with his team consisting of Warrior’s Rest, Tierra del Fuego, Cornish Pomodoro, Zillzaal, Tree Tumbo, Victoria Paige and Silver God. The final field of 16 runners — and the charities attached to them — will be announced on Tellytrack (DStv channel 249) on Tuesday. However, Saturday’s race will be run behind closed doors which has meant a rethink by the sponsors on how the event will be staged.

Neil Andrews, a well-known Topsport presenter but sidelined by Tellytrack, said he believed the plan was to hold a function at Emperors Palace Casino Resort on Saturday attended by the eight celebrities and the representatives of the charities.

“That this popular annual event is going ahead at all is a feather in the cap of Peermont Emperors Palace. Their business has been as badly affected by the pandemic as anyone,” said Andrews, who is one of the celebrities.

Saturday’s meeting also features the Graham Beck Stakes in which Mike de Kock is likely to run one — or possibly both — of his talented three-year-olds, Mount Pleasant and Malmoos.

Malmoos, a R4.4m son of Captain Al, looked like a colt with huge potential when he brushed aside his rivals in a handicap at Turffontein on October 17. Champion apprentice Luke Ferraris was in the saddle that day and will be hoping to retain the ride.

 

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