Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP
Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP

Fans of football and racing have two blockbusters to look forward to in November — they will both take place with spectators present as lockdown restrictions ease worldwide.

First up is the Manchester United vs Manchester City Premier League clash scheduled for November 6. The match at United’s Old Trafford stadium is sure to be a sell-out.

Three weeks later — on November 27 — there is the eagerly awaited clash between Got The Greenlight and Malmoos in the Gauteng Summer Cup at Turffontein.

Gold Circle — invariably a step ahead of Phumelela when it comes to press releases — announced on Monday that due to the easing of restrictions 2000 people would be allowed on their outdoor grandstand facilities at Greyville from October 13.

Though there has been no official word from Phumelela, there is every likelihood of racing fans being allowed into Turffontein and this will be a relief after months of watching the sport on TV.

Phumelela has released its latest log for the Cup and it shows Got The Greenlight in first place (rating of 126), Malmoos in second (125) and War Of Athena in third (121).

Given that this trio appears head and shoulders above other rivals, the question that needs to be asked is whether bookmakers’ early odds on the race are generous or not? Lance Michael has Got The Greenlight at 7-2, Malmoos at 7-1 and War Of Athena at 10-1.

In the case of Got The Greenlight, to step in at this early stage might be unwise. The five-year-old’s supporters have lost their money in his past three starts — the Durban July, Champions Cup and Joburg Spring Challenge.

Trainer Joe Soma has stated in the media that his star performer may run in the Charity Mile (October 30), but it is perhaps best to see how he fares in that grade 2 race.

In the case of Malmoos, the 7-1 on offer from Michael is tempting as the word from Randjesfontein is that last season’s Triple Crown winner has been impressive in home gallops. With regular pilot Luke Ferraris in Hong Kong, Mike de Kock will have to find a new jockey.

There has been no indication from Paul Matchett whether War Of Athena has the Cup as one of her targets this year so — even at 10-1 — it could be risky jumping in at this early stage.

The latest Summer Cup log sees Golden Pheasant move up to 16th place after his win at Turffontein last Saturday. However, the son of Antonius Pius, trained by Barend Botes and Yolandi Vosloo, is seven years old and would appear to have no more chance of beating Got The Greenlight or Malmoos than a nonleague club beating Manchester United or Manchester City.

Still, the owners of Golden Pheasant can at least say they are making a profit on their investment. The gelding cost R85,000 as a yearling and Saturday’s win took his earnings to more than R575,000.

This is in strict contrast to some horses in action at Fairview on Monday. Three horses who cost seven figures as yearlings —  Celtillus (R2.2m), Inherit The Rain (R2m) and Broadside (R1.4m) — were chasing a first prize of about R40,000 at the Eastern Cape track.

Second Base — placed behind Malmoos in last season’s Triple Crown races and runner-up to Got The Greenlight in the Champions Challenge — failed to show behind Golden Pheasant and his rating has dropped two points.

SUMMER CUP BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

7-2 Got The Greenlight 

7-1 Malmoos, Puerto Manzano

10-1 War Of Athena

16-1 Second Base

20-1 Bingwa, Shango

33-1 Others

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