The trend is your friend. That’s a phrase used in the financial investment world and, if you apply it to horse racing, trainer Sean Tarry should win the Betway Summer Cup at Turffontein on Saturday.

Tarry has won four of the last five editions of Joburg’s biggest horse race. Add to that compelling trend the fact that he has no fewer than five of the starters in the 19-horse field and the Randjesfontein conditioner’s chances get even brighter.

ALSO READ: Three trainers dominate Summer Cup field

Also, consider that all four of Tarry’s recent Cup triumphs have been at chunky odds – Liege at 16-1 in 2017, Tilbury Fort at 8-1 in 2018, Zillzaal at 14-1 in 2019 and Flying Carpet at 20-1 in 2021.

Then look at his quintet this time around: the shortest price being about Nebraas at 16-1 and the longest
Shango at 70-1 and – rather bizarrely – a Tarry repeat performance suddenly seems plausible.

But, of course, racing isn’t an actuarial game of probability. If anything, it exists purely to befuddle mathematical calculation.

De Kock’s challenge

The punter must consider all options, and one of those options is a certain Mike de Kock, a master trainer with a whopping nine Summer Cup miniatures on his mantelpiece.

None of those successes have come in recent years, though, with his last being Flirtation in 2010.

De Kock saddles four runners, three of them dominating the betting boards: Hollywoodbets Durban July champion Sparkling Water at 22-10, Daily News 2000 winner Safe Passage at 33-10 and SA Derby champion Aragosta at 7-1. There’s a trend in there, surely.

ALSO READ: Venniker ready to break new ground for women jockeys at Summer Cup

And what about Johan Janse van Vuuren, a man in hot form who ruled the roost at the recent Charity Mile meeting at Turffontein?

Janse van Vuuren also has four horses lining up at the Big T’s 2000m pole. One of them, Puerto Manzano,
is in good form and looks good betting value at 10-1.

Other contenders

Of course, other trainers are striving just as hard to get their names on the honours board of one of South Africa’s “Big Three” races.

Joe Soma is one, with his horse Red Saxon looking tempting at 16-1. A draw of 15 will put off many punters, but it should be remembered that the four-year-old has shown acceleration from off the pace and knows this course well. He had a nightmare in the July, getting bashed about and cut into, but
returned from his injury break – and gelding to calm him down – with a promising effort in the Charity Mile.

Meanwhile, Raiseahallelujah would be an aptly named winner at 80-1 and shouldn’t be ignored as he is handily weighted for up-and-coming trainer Candice Dawson.

READ MORE: Summer Cup – Everything you need to know about every horse

The Betway Summer Cup is the headline event, but there is such a wealth of other excitement at Turffontein on Saturday that it feels like a renaissance of the good old days before plague and darkness.

Five feature races support the Grade 1 centrepiece, with two Grade 2 races – the Dingaans and the Ipi Tombe Challenge – getting welcome new sponsors in the form of Jonsson Workwear and Betway respectively.

And if the sheer quality of the equines on show doesn’t grab one, and the high fashion and party vibe isn’t distracting, the prospect of large amounts of money up for grabs definitely will be enticing.

The Pick 6 pool is expected to reach R10-million, while the Quartet Maxipool on the main race could top R2-million.


4 Sparkling Water, 7 Nebraas, 9 Red Saxon, 19 Raiseahallelujah

By editor