Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

As punters countrywide tried to wrap their heads around how all the fancied runners went Awol in the Summer Cup, one person happy with the result of the grade 1 race was trainer Ashley Fortune.

The Vaal trainer has moved into eighth place on the national log with her 16-1 chance Majestic Mozart taking the R400,000 second-place cheque in the Cup.

Fortune, granted her licence in 2018, will be seeking more success when she saddles nine runners at her home track of the Vaal on Thursday.

The stable’s best chance of a winner may rest with the three-year-old filly Abalus, who takes on 11 rivals in the fifth race. The daughter of Jackson finished a close third behind Big City Girl last time out.

Winning Cup jockey Calvin Habib was in the saddle on Abalus that day, but Thursday’s race is confined to apprentices and Kyle Strydom rides the filly for the first time.

Fortune has back-up in the 1,000m sprint in the form of On Cue with apprentice Mfanelo Zuma claiming his 4kg allowance on the daughter of Oratorio. Rozara (Wiseman Njokwe) is the stable’s third representative in the race.

Though Paul Peter had a disappointing Cup meeting, his filly Vuitton could pose a threat to Abalus. The filly won a Work Riders event last month in good style and may have more to offer.

Another runner worth including in exotic perms is Clinton Binda’s six-year-old mare Florence. In her penultimate start, she finished second behind the speedy Bella Chica.

Bella Chica represents the Fortune yard in the sixth race with the 4kg claim of Kaidan Brewer reducing the filly’s weight to 58kg. The three-year-old still has to give 2kg to Muleta with Muzi Yeni aboard the Robbie Sage mare. But the stable will be hoping for another success after Secret Link’s win (following an objection) at Turffontein on Tuesday.

Jockey Habib will be over the moon following his Summer Cup win on Flying Carpet and he should go close on Fortune’s consistent four-year-old Un Deux Trois in the fourth race.

Two runners who can make life difficult for Un Deux Trois are Southern Song and The Kop. The latter, a three-time winner trained by Sean Tarry, takes a drop in class after contesting the Java Handicap in October.

The seventh race is also confined to apprentices. Joshwin Solomons will be pleased he is down to partner Peter’s runner Midnight Badger. The gelding has been knocking on the door for a second win with placed efforts in each of his last three outings.

This is a competitive 1,200m event in which all of Princess Sabrina, Gin And Tonic and Successful Secret all go on the short list of possible winners.

Dual horse-of-the-year Rainbow Bridge makes his seasonal bow in Saturday’s grade 2 Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth in which the seven-year-old is opposed by just four rivals.

Two of the quintet, Seeking The Stars and Linebacker, hail from the stable of Vaughan Marshall, and the market will be the best guide to their chances.

Seeking The Stars, the mount of Anton Marcus, won the Matchem Stakes in October and might have the edge in fitness over Linebacker, who hasn’t raced since running second in the Durban July.

Justin Snaith runs Jet Dark, who has the Queen’s Plate in January as his major objective.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (14) Putting Green (5) Fashionigma (2) Lil Wahoo (1) La Banquiere

2nd Race: (4) Corapi (3) Tabebuia (2) Boleto (1) Rampage

3rd Race: (5) Bey Suyay (2) Flying Bull (4) Earl (1) Nordic Rebel

4th Race: (1) The Kop (4) Un Deux Trois (3) Southern Song (6) Travelling Wilbury

5th Race: (4) Abalus (6) Vuitton (9) Florence (1) On Cue

6th Race: (4) Muleta (8) Captain’s Run (1) Bella Chica (5) Seemyvision

7th Race: (4) Midnight Badger (7) Princess Sabrina (6) Gin And Tonic (3) West Coast Lover

8th Race: (6) Fantasy Flower (4) Life Goes On (5) Lulu’s Boy (10) Grindelwald

9th Race: (2) Dark Travel (9) After Hours (4) Willow Lane (3) Sergei

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