Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

Whatever the fate of Malmoos in Saturday’s R2m WSB Summer Cup at Turffontein, punters will have pencilled in December 4 as a date when the Mike de Kock stable can put money in their pockets for Christmas.

The former champion trainer has entered his unbeaten filly Desert Miracle for the R500,000 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth and she has scared away the opposition with just 10 entries. De Kock has won this grade 1 race twice in recent years with Rumya (2012) and Maymu (2014).

Nevertheless, that there are no certainties in racing was further emphasised on Sunday when Pray For Rain — sent off the 1-4 favourite — was beaten in the second race at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

De Kock has also entered Clafoutis for the Cape race and the filly — never placed to challenge in her most recent outing at Turffontein — will contest Saturday’s grade 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge at the city track. Muzi Yeni takes over from Gavin Lerena.

At first glance, a filly that makes plenty of appeal in the Ipi Tombe is Candice Dawson’s improving three-year-old Perfect Witness who won her latest start a shade cosily by three lengths.

Sean Tarry has booked Cape-based jockey Grant van Niekerk for his three-year-old, Rain In Holland, while Diego De Gouveia will partner four-year-old Bold Fortune for trainer Stuart Pettigrew.

The Dingaans is a favourite race with the sport’s fans on Cup day and this year’s grade 2 race looks like a four-cornered contest between another De Kock inmate Safe Passage (ridden by S’manga Khumalo), Tarry’s Pyromaniac (Van Niekerk), Paul Matchett’s Super Excited (Muzi Yeni) and Pettigrew’s Castletown (De Gouveia).

Safe Passage goes to post boasting three wins from five starts and has a favourable draw, while both Pyromaniac and Super Excited are drawn further out. No surprise that both Pyromaniac and Super Excited found Desert Miracle too smart last time out and they finished five and eight lengths respectively behind the De Kock star.

Four KwaZulu-Natal trainers have been accepted with their sprinters for the grade 3 WSB Merchants with Denis Drier, Duncan Howells, Robbie Hill and Peter Muscutt all looking to take top honours.

Veteran trainer Drier will saddle Tempting Fate (Sean Veale) and Cartel Captain (Raymond Danielson) and the first is likely to be the stable elect.

Despite carrying top weight, Hill’s speedster, Pearl Of Asia, will have his supporters after his fine performance in last season’s Mercury Sprint. The gelding started at 40-1 that day, but his odds will be a lot shorter this time.

Ultra Magnus has been a good earner for his connections and Donovan Dillon gets the ride on Peter Muscutt’s raider, while Kabelo Matsunyane has got the call for Howell’s runner, Spydas Corner.

In a race in which bookies may battle to settle on a favourite, the home side is well represented with Matchett’s Battle Force, Paul Peter’s MK’s Pride, Pettigrew’s Vars, and Vicky and Corne Spies’ Singforafa.

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