A race at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES
A race at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES

About 47 years ago the “Rumble In The Jungle” was an epic sporting event. For racing fans there is the prospect of a sequel with a “Rumble at Turffontein” as two champions are set to clash in the grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge on May 1.

Back in 1974, the younger challenger Muhammad Ali sensationally beat George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, and what a mouth-watering clash we could have at the city track at the beginning of May with Malmoos taking on horse-of-the-year Summer Pudding.          

On a horrific day for bookmakers at Turffontein last Saturday, three-year-old Malmoos romped home to give Mike de Kock his second Triple Crown and take the R2m bonus into the bargain.

Understandably, most of 57-year-old De Kock’s post-race comments centred around the colt’s owner, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, who passed away 12 days ago.

“This is a fitting tribute and send-off, if you want, that the Sheikh gets a Triple Crown winner over here. He has left a huge hole in the lives of people in Dubai, his family and certainly our stable over here,” De Kock said.

He added that the grade 1 Premier’s Challenge is a possible next stop and that it would pitch the son of Captain Al against Paul Peter’s star filly, Summer Pudding. Following her recent facile win, Peter said the 2,000m race would be her next target.

So we have the possibility of champion jockey Warren Kennedy taking on Malmoos’s regular rider Luke Ferraris, who is exactly half his age. The younger boxer won in Kinshasa — will it be the same outcome in this racing contest?

The emphatic win by Malmoos resulted in World Sports Betting promoting the colt to 11-2 joint favourite for the Vodacom Durban July along with HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut victor Got the Greenlight. However, punters would be well advised to hold their July bets as De Kock commented that he was “not hell-bent” on running the horse in SA’s most famous race.

The July will be the objective of Got The Greenlight whose victory contributed to a memorable (and profitable) meeting for 33-year-old jockey Muzi Yeni. He was in the saddle when Paul Matchett’s filly War Of Athena rose to the occasion once again with her victory in the SA Oaks, giving her the Triple Tiara crown. For the record, the daughter of Act Of War now boasts a career of eight wins and five placings from 14 starts.

The Vaal hosts an eight-race programme on Tuesday and jockey Ferraris could continue his winning run by notching a double on Prospector (sixth race) and All Aglow in the final leg of the jackpot.

Prospector, a two-time winner, is trained by Gary Alexander, who is holding a dispersal sale of a number of his horses on Wednesday ahead of his move to Australia.

Owned and bred by Vanessa Harrison, All Aglow is a lightly raced daughter of Dynasty who finished a creditable third on her handicap debut at Turffontein in March. Love Lies, an inmate of the powerful Paul Peter stable, will start at cramped odds to leave the maiden ranks in the fourth race over 1,000m.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (1) Chariot Master (2) Trying Times (7) Sudden Break (6) Pin It

2nd Race: No Selection

3rd Race: (5) Meteoric (11) Wings Of Nike (1) Eternity Ring (9) Stolen Kiss

4th Race: (1) Love Lies (5) Night King (2) Trust The Fire (6) Lil Wahoo

5th Race: (3) Smelting (5) Talladega (6) Sky Kingdom (1) Country Mile

6th Race: (2) Prospector (5) Romeo’s Magic (4) Trend Master (3) Imperial Master

7th Race: (8) All Aglow (10) Mode (11) Aflame (2) Bella Rosa

8th Race: (4) Riveting (11) Dynamic Lass (1) Cast The Dice (6) Apple Drop

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