Mike De Kock's Horse Racing Picks: Turffontein

It’s Betway Summer Cup Day at Turffontein, Saturday, featuring the smashing Grade 1 topliner, four other graded races, the Betway Summer Cup consolation an several other quality races. Most of the fields are full, there will be more money in the Gauteng exotics than at any other time this year and healthy payouts can be expected.

A Pick 6 pool of R10-million is likely, there should be at least R750,000 in the Place Accumulator Pool and R400,000 in the Bi-Pot Pool, while a Quartet Maxipool on the Betway Summer Cup (Race 7) will almost certainly ensure a sizeable return for winning horseplayers.

Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock is well represented at the meeting with 19 runners, four of them in the flagship feature and all with first-four chances at best. Here are Mike’s comments for the day:
Race 2, 1160m: “Griffin Park has had a few chances and hasn’t delivered. He shows good pace before fading. We’re hoping for some improvement, he has Quartet prospects. Battle Of Gergovia has a lot of upside to him, a nice young colt by Vercingetorix. He’ll want a bit further to show his best but we expect him to kick on well. Lion’s Eye is not the worst of horses, he is working quite well. Needs to learn to settle but should also be doing good work late. He’ll win a race or two in time. Forgiveness is perhaps the best of my runners here after her good first run, but this won’t be an easy race to win.”

Race 3, 2000m: “Littlemarysunshine won a good race last week and goes into the Summer Cup consolation very fit and well. She got a 6-pound penalty, quite fair for that win and is still five or six pounds out at the weights, but comes into the race in good form. Money chance.

Race 4, 1160m: “Dave The King has a lot of weight to carry here, but he is a big and very speedy horse. We are back down the straight with him, if one looks at his form, he has only won over 1200m although he has run some good races over further. So he is back to his best performed trip. It’s a really competitive race, but he’ll be galloping with them, he has to be considered for big exotics. Forever Mine is a bit short of the form we know he is capable of, perhaps needs this run just to bring him on.

Race 5, 1600m: “The Betway Fillies looks like a very nice contest. We have three really nice fillies in the race, with an upside to them all. They’re all in with a shout. White Pearl is a lovely gutsy filly with lots of speed. There has to be a slight question mark with the mile and that’s why we have Piere Strydom on to cuddle her during the race and get her to see it out. She did just a bit too much up front last time. Platina Princess was an impressive third to Eifel Tower last time. She was the only high-rated filly in the race to manage a place, giving the improving male winner weight. Gimme A Nother is very much an improving sort, will be having this run on top of the other two, but she stepped up well into stronger from her Maiden last time and is well drawn. With Egyptian Mau, Let’s Go Now And My Soul Mate in the race, this is a hot contest.

Race 6, 1600m: “We look to be at the mercy of Sandringham Summit. Our runner Gimmeanotherchance is talented and gives of his best, he will be in the mix along with a few others like Purple Pitcher and Guy Gibson. Hoping for the best.

Race 7, 2000m: “All four have a lot to do to win it, but can’t be ignored all the same. It’s that kind of race. I’d love to have had another run coming into the race for both Aragosta and Shoemaker who are both approaching their best but may just be short of one more run. Safe Passage has had two prep runs, we have taken all the gear off him and he certainly warrants respect at the weights, but I haven’t seen the sparkle from him we saw when he was a three-year-old – for a while now, which is disappointing. Again, however, one cannot leave him out of calculations. East Coast has had a really good prep and a great last run. From what I see, he should be able to turn the tables on most of those he ran behind, last time. It’s competitive though, we have a July winner and several other top horses in the race. A good Grade 1.

Race 8, 3200m: “Black Thorn is doing well, he is in form and should have no problem with 3200m. He has a good chance I’d say, despite getting a penalty for being beaten over five lengths by Zeus last time. Nebraas is probably the horse to beat.

Race 9, 1160m: “We have two very capable fillies here in Good Queen Bess and Sea Anemone. I was especially impressed last time with Sea Anemone. She was showing a lot of speed at home so we brought her back to a sprint. I’ve been treating like a sprinter now and it has done her the world of good. Good Queen Bess didn’t give her best last time, a good run prior to that and also a good effort behind Aussenkehr in September. She has the right draw in an open race. Include both.

Race 10, 1800m: Trois Trois Quatre is in good form, draw a line through his last run. I don’t think he was genuine over 2400m. He’s got plenty of speed at home, if he overcomes his draw, he’ll be a big runner.”

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Published: 11/24/2023