Trainers Joe Soma and Paul Matchett will have reason to curse their luck after the draw for the R800,000 Allied Steelrode Mile to be run at Turffontein on October 30. Their star performers Got The Greenlight and War Of Athena have wide barriers.

Got The Greenlight is expected to take part in the race — formerly the Charity Mile — en route to his major objective, the Gauteng Summer Cup on November 27.

That race could also be the target of Matchett’s filly War Of Athena who performed with great credit last season and had to be on the shortlist for the Equus horse of the year award.

Racing operator Phumelela has done well to secure a new sponsor for this popular race as several sports have been hit by withdrawals from well established backers.

“We are extremely grateful to Allied Steelrode for coming on board as the new sponsor of this popular spring feature event,” Phumelela racing executive Patrick Davis said.

“It is extremely good news for owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms alike and is a positive boost during what has been a challenging time for everybody in the sport,” he said.

One trainer who can feel happy with the draw is Mike de Kock whose two major entries Malmoos and Al Muthana will  jump from inside gates. Malmoos also has the Summer Cup as his main objective.

A runner who could attract attention in the ante-post betting market is trainer Paul Peter’s entry MK’s Pride. He has proved he is a force to be reckoned with in top company and connections will be delighted he has drawn well.

KwaZulu-Natal trainer Peter Muscutt has entered GG’s Dynasty but his charge drew a wide berth and it will be interesting to see if the gelding features among the final acceptors.

In early betting, Got The Greenlight has been marked up favourite at 28-10 with Malmoos at 9-2, Puerto Manzano at 7-1 and War Of Athena and Al Muthana both on offer at 8-1.

It is evident in betting in the Allied Steelrode race and the Summer Cup that bookmakers are taking no chances with trainer Johan van Vuuren’s four-year-old Puerto Manzano. The son of Seek Again is quoted in single figures for both races.

A feature event scheduled for the same date as the Turffontein race is the R900,000 CTS De Grendel Ready-To-Run Stakes at Kenilworth for which 27 entries have been received, five from the stable of champion trainer Justin Snaith.

There are seven “out of town” entries including Alan Greeff’s star Eastern Cape performer Whatever Next while Gauteng trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren has nominated Quantum King.

Three-year-old Quantum King has won two of his four starts and Gavin Lerena was in the saddle when the colt won over 1,200m at Turffontein last month.

The Ready-To-Run race at Kenilworth will be followed by the CTS De Grendel Ready-To-Run Sale which is scheduled for October 31.


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