Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA
Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA

Champion trainer Sean Tarry will send a team of five runners to the WSB Summer Cup at Turffontein on November 28 in an attempt to win Joburg’s most popular race for the fifth time.

Tarry has won the past three runnings of the Cup with Liege (2017), Tilbury Fort (2018) and Zillzall last year. His first win in the race came with Aslan in 2009.

Tierra del Fuego, Zillzall, Tree Tumbo, Cornish Pomodoro and Victoria Paige are Tarry’s quintet, but what will disappoint punters is that no jockeys have been declared. It is unsure which horse former champion jockey Lyle Hewitson will partner.

There has been support for Cornish Pomodoro in the ante-post market, which suggests the son of Pomodoro could be Hewitson’s mount. However, judged on Charity Mile running, he has two lengths to find with stablemate Tree Tumbo.

Victoria Paige, third in last Saturday’s Victory Moon Stakes, rates an each-way shout on her runs behind Summer Pudding last season, but she seems highly strung and has the very outside barrier.

Trainer St John Gray, who won the race in 2011 with Dancewiththedevil, has also not declared jockeys for his duo of Dance Class and Christopher Robin. The latter put his hat in the ring for the grade 1 event when winning last Saturday’s grade 3 Victory Moon Stakes.

The big attraction for TV viewers (no spectators allowed except owners) will be the favourite Summer Pudding with champion jockey Warren Kennedy having to overcome a wide draw on Paul Peter’s unbeaten filly.

Peter has stated that Summer Pudding will head for the Cape after the Cup. “She will be in good hands there with trainer Eric Sands, who is a good friend, trusted colleague and has an exemplary grade 1 record,” he said.

Peter has backup in the race in the form of Astrix, who is well drawn and will have talented rider Piere Strydom in the saddle.

In contrast, Astrix’s stablemate Riverstown has a wide draw and his pilot, Donovan Dillon, will have no easy task from that position.

Trainer Mike de Kock is winless in the Cup for 10 years, but he has a live candidate this time in five-year-old Charles. Formerly trained by Brett Crawford, the gelding showed he’s back in form when filling the runner-up berth in the Charity Mile.

Justin Snaith inmate Crown Towers failed to reward his backers in the Charity Mile, finishing more than three lengths behind the winner, but the Aussie-bred is back for another crack at a rich prize with Richard Fourie booked for the ride.

Another raider is the KwaZulu-Natal-trained Tristful, who represents the stable of Tony Rivalland with Diego De Goueva engaged for the son of Trippi, who was bred by Gary Player. 

Popular jockey S’manga Khumalo has been in hot form this term and he teams up with Alec Laird’s runner, Pack Leader. “The race is a handicap. We’ve cracked a good draw and I’m hopeful of a big run,” Laird said on Tuesday.

Pack Leader, who has been racing in top company this year, showed his wellbeing at Turffontein recently with a facile four-lengths win. The six-year-old looks to have peaked at just the right time.

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