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An Endless Summer

Strong hand again this year

Trainer Geoff Woodruff, who celebrated his 61st birthday on Wednesday 11 October, is the foremost winning Summer Cup trainer of modern times and he looks to have a strong hand again this year.

Deo Juvente (red cap) beats Legal Eagle

His Trippi gelding Deo Juvente, winner of the Premier’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein in May this year, topped the first log of likely runners for next month’s R2-million Gr1 Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup  to be run over 2000m.

Woodruff, who has won the Summer Cup six times since the race was reintroduced by Phumelela in 1999, including in the last four years, has five candidates on the handicapping panel’s list of horses they would pick if the race closed now.

The others are Pagoda, runner-up to Al Sahem in the SA Derby, Master Switch, third to Master Sabina and The Conglomerate in this race last year, talented filly Bi Pot, a good third in the SA Fillies Classic last year and six-time winner Banner Hill.

The latest Sansui Gr1 Summer Cup Log:

Log Age  Sex Horse MR Trainer
1 6 G DEO JUVENTE 115 Geoff Woodruff
2 4 G MATADOR MAN 112 Sean Tarry
3 5 M NOTHER RUSSIA 108  Mike de Kock
4 5 M FORT EMBER 105  Paul Peter
5 5 H BRAZUCA (AUS) 107 J A Janse van Vuuren
6 4 F ORCHID ISLAND 101 Mike de Kock
7  4 F WIND CHILL 101 Joe Soma
8 4 C CROWD PLEASER 100 J A Janse van Vuuren
9 5 G HERMOSO MUNDO 100 Weiho Marwing
10 4 C TILBURY FORT 97  Sean Tarry
11 4 G GLIDER PILOT 97 Tyrone Zackey
12 5 H NEW PREDATOR (AUS) 113 J A Janse van Vuuren
13 6 G FRENCH NAVY 108 Sean Tarry
14 8 G MASTER SABINA 109 Joe Soma
15 4 G PAGODA 99 Geoff Woodruff
16 5 M WITCHCRAFT 101 Sean Tarry
17 6 G MASTER SWITCH 100 Geoff Woodruff
18 4 F BI POT 98 Geoff Woodruff
19 5 M GIRL ON THE RUN 98 J A Janse van Vuuren
20 5 G BANNER HILL 99 Geoff Woodruff


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3 comments on “An Endless Summer

  1. Graham Martin says:

    I have just received the shock of my life! Looking at the weights and Merit Ratings of the Summer Cup I noticed that Matador Man, a three time winner , has been given a merit rating of 112!!! I had to look twice to make sure I was’nt seeing things! NOW READ THE FOLLOWING! Before Matador Man contested the Champions Cup at Greyvillw at the end of July his Merit Rating was 100! He ran a credible 3rd in that race and for his effort was penalised 12 Merit rating points!! I had to ask myself “can this be true?” This three time winner will now be carrying 2nd top weight in a R2000,000 Gr1 handicap. Luckily I will not be having a bet on the Summer Cup as i gave up having a bet when the new handicapping and racing format was introduced into horseracing in this country. The reason? Horseracing has become a guessing game now, not a game of skill. If you are lucky enough to own a Crystal Ball you might find a winner! This horse Matador Man will unbelievably be carrying more weight than Abishiri!! winner of 6 races including the Triple Crown. How is it possible to have a different Merit Rating for horses that run between 1000m and 1600m and for horses that run over further ground,i find this absolutely rediculous to say the least! Horseracing in this country is an absolute FARCE!
    Graham Martin, ex punter

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Graham

      Interesting to debate these angles.

      Chatted to our in-house handicappers.

      As is often the case at the higher end of the scale, the official rating is higher than ours. He rates a 104 with us, and looks to have scope to improve further.

      Another view is that he ran to a 107 (or 108) in The Champions Cup.

      Bela-Bela (112) ran 0.5 L behind Matador Man and Table Bay (109) was the other 3yo in the race who finished a further 3L behind.
      So the question is then – what rating should Matador Man get if the horses around him must run off those ratings?

      Matador Man also gives start – so what happens the day he jumps on terms?

      A case of cake and eat it? Any contest of his rating should maybe go hand in hand with a refund of the R100 000 he earned for 3rd in a Gr1.


      1. Graham Martin says:

        Thank you for your comment! Most appreciated!
        Without trying to flog a dead horse I would just like to add the following. As is most often the case Matador Man’s run ahead of Bela Bela and Table Bay in the Champions Cup at Greyville was probably a once off , this is backed up by his poor showing in the Spring Challenge where according to his Merit Rating and the weight he carried he should have won this race! Also there is a big difference between Greyville and Turffontein!
        And lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY there is no ways that a THREE time winner (Matador Man in this case ) should be giving weight away to a SIX time winner, especially a horse of Abashiri’s calibre! I’ve said this before and i will repeat, you cannot judge a horse on one good run or one bad run. Especially where a horse’s Merit Rating is increased from 100 to 112 for running 3rd in a race!
        P.S. EX PUNTER

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