The G-Bets Gauteng Summer Cup undercard is not wanting for quality. A number of top-class horses will line up in the three supporting features on 1 December – including the likes of Pinnacle Peak, a narrow loser to the mighty Legal Eagle last week; recent Golden Loom Handicap victor Rivarine, and gallant mare Redberry Lane, conqueror of Cape star Snowdance during the Durban season.
There are two Grade 2 contests on the Standside track programme: the Goldrush Derby Run Merchants, a famous old sprint over 1160m, and the World Sports Betting Ipi Tombe Challenge, a 1600m race for fillies and mares.
There are also two Listed events: the Epol Magnolia Handicap, a sprint for fillies and mares, and the 3200m Racing Association Handicap, one of the most popular staying challenges on the calendar.
Pinnacle Peak, who lost out to Legal Eagle by 0.50 lengths in a Pinnacle Stakes on the same course last Thursday night, heads the weights for the Merchants. Trainer Dorrie Sham’s speedy gelding is a model of consistency with three wins and only one run out of the money in his nine outings.
He is the 3-1 ante-post favourite, ahead of the Azzie stable’s Rivarine on 5-1 and Joey Ramsden’s Highveld sojourner Rose In Bloom on 8-1.
Unsurprisingly, Redberry Lane tops the scales and the boards in the Ipi Tombe – slated to carry 60kg and on offer at 16-10.
Sean Tarry’s charge is as honest as they come and warmed up for this challenge by finishing third behind Summer Cup hopeful Secret Potion in a 1600m Pinnacle Stakes on this track, albeit in very soft going.
Second in demand with punters is a KwaZulu-Natal challenger, Fiorella, from the Duncan Howells stable.
This four-year-old filly won the Grade 2 Daisy Guineas, which got her into the Vodacom Durban July, in which she finished seventh, eight lengths off winner Do It Again. That evidence of talent puts her right in the reckoning in this contest.
Final field for The Goldrush Derby Run Merchants (Grade2):
(Number, name, weight, MR, draw, trainer, jockey)
1 Pinnacle Peak 60 115 18 Dorrie Sham C Zackey
2 Rose In Bloom 56 107 11 Joey Ramsden *L J Ferraris
3 Romi’s Boy 55.5 106 7 Alec Laird R Danielson
4 Captain’s Causeway 55 105 8 Sean Tarry C Habib
5 Champagne Haze 55 105 5 Gary Alexander *D Schwarz
6 Down To Zero 54.5 104 2 M G Azzie/A A Azzie W Kennedy
7 Procal Harum 54.5 104 1 Duncan Howells R Munger
8 Rivarine 54.5 104 13 M G Azzie/A A Azzie G Lerena
9 Africa Rising 54 103 12 Sean Tarry *L Hewitson
10 Captain And Master 54 103 9 Sean Tarry P Strydom
11 Pure Blonde 54 103 4 Alec Laird R Simons
12 Wynkelder 53 101 3 Tony Rivalland M V’Rensburg
13 Hard To Play 52.5 100 16 Wendy Whitehead S Randolph
14 Isphan 52 96 17 Roy Magner M Khan
15 Wonderwall 52 96 10 Sean Tarry S Khumalo
16 Clever Guy 52 95 14 Stephen Moffatt M Yeni
17 Donny G 52 94 6 Grant Maroun Reserve 1
18 Nicklaus (BRZ) 52 94 15 Frank Robinson Reserve 2
Final field for the World Sports Betting Ipi Tombe Challenge (Grade 2):
1 Redberry Lane 60 110 5 Sean Tarry *L Hewitson
2 Fiorella 59 106 8 Duncan Howells M Khan
3 Al Danza 58 108 9 Geoff Woodruff G Lerena
4 Silver Thursday 58 101 6 Mike de Kock R Simons
5 Green Top 58 100 1 Alec Laird M Yeni
6 Roy’s Riviera (AUS) 58 97 2 Frank Robinson *S Moodley
7 Sylvan On Fire 58 95 3 Candice Dawson C Zackey
8 Nafaayes (AUS) 51 99 4 Mike de Kock W Kennedy
9 Dagmar 51 98 7 Mike de Kock R Munger