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

Gqeberha trainer Jacques Strydom has followed the adage “if you don’t have a ticket, you can’t collect” by supplementing Christopher Robin for the Gauteng Summer Cup at Turffontein on November 27.

Many pundits will view the move as falling into the “optimistic” category and bookies appear to hold this view, quoting the former St John Gray inmate at 100-1.

Christopher Robin won a grade 3 race last season and has a merit-rating of 111, so moves into 16th place in the latest Cup log issued by Phumelela.

Two defections from the Cup are Hoedspruit and Sean Tarry’s tough campaigner Tierra Del Fuego. However, two horses from the former champion trainer’s stable are still contenders, with Nebraas now in the top 20 and Seehaam moving into the “next five” category following his fifth place in the Steelrode Mile.

Saturday’s Turffontein winner, Sparkling Water, a stablemate to the favourite Malmoos, has edged up to 12th place from 14 and could be strong backup for the powerful Mike de Kock yard.

With Malmoos at 3-1 and Got the Greenlight quoted at 4-1, there is a sense that the layers do not know what to make of these two top horses following unplaced runs in the Steelrode at the beginning of the month.

De Kock’s declaration before that race that “I’ve never had Malmoos as well as he is at present” is probably the reason the Triple Crown victor heads the market, particularly with the trainer’s excellent Cup record.

Even so, there does not seem any reason — other than the sudden withdrawal of one of the leading fancies — why Malmoos should shorten from his current price.

One could say the same about Got the Greenlight. His starting price of 25-3 (from an opening call of 20-7) for the Steelrode is evidence that Joe Soma’s loyal supporters did not have a serious punt — perhaps a small wager for a horse who has done his fans proud in grade 1 races.

Malmoos also drifted in the market in the grade 2 race. His  opening call was 25-11 and his starting price 10-3, but he was certainly better supported than Got The Greenlight.

So should punters be interested in the 20-1 available about Dorrie Sham’s big race winner Bingwa? The short answer is no. The evidence is pointing to the fact that the gelding produces his best form over 1,400m-1,600m.

In last season’s SA Derby (2,450m) Bingwa finished seven lengths behind Malmoos. In the SA Classic (1,800m) and with Piere Strydom in the saddle, he was beaten by nearly five lengths, and in the Gauteng Guineas (1,600m) — again with Strydom aboard — he went down by two-and-a-half lengths.

Bingwa went into the Steelrode race a fit horse, something pundits failed to consider an important factor. He was having his third outing of the season following seconds behind MK’s Pride in September and also the next month’s Joburg Spring Challenge.

So is there a horse among the long shots who could shorten dramatically in the betting? The answer here is yes. It is Paul Peter’s four-year-old filly Netta.

She will have needed the run when second to stablemate Heart Stwings in early October and it is worth pointing out two other noteworthy performances. She trounced Sparkling Water by six lengths in the Gerald Roseberg in May and finished less than two lengths behind War Of Athena in the SA Fillies Classic.

SUMMER CUP BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

3-1 Malmoos

4-1 Got The Greenlight

5-1 War Of Athena

15-2 Puerto Manzano

10-1 Al Muthana

16-1 Sparkling Water, Second Base, Shango

20-1 Bingwa

35-1 Eliud, Golden Pheasant, Netta, Pamushana’s Pride

40-1 Others

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