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Any Bankers On The Weekend?

Enough racing to catch anybody's fancy

All of our very best horses are in action on a jam-packed weekend that incorporates a record setting twenty feature races across the width and breadth of South Africa.

With betting pools already under pressure, but a serious flicker of hope on Thursday that the vital bricks-and-mortar gambling outlets will commence trading soon, there is plenty of racing to keep us busy.

But besides further stretching the gambling rand, there is a very real danger too that some of the boom could be lost in the bottleneck that now sees our independent racing operators playing some serious catch-up.

Do It Again – defends his Gold Challenge title on Sunday (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

But it is what it is and time waits for no man – the season clicks over on 1 August – and we have already lost the Gold Cup, celebrating a sensational centenary in 2020, to the new term.

Barring the retired-to-stud One World and the absent Barahin, all of our horses rated 130 or above are in action over this coming  big weekend.

That includes Do It Again (135) and the 134 MR-rated pair of Rainbow Bridge and Vardy, who will face up in the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday, while 24 hours earlier, stablemates Soqrat (133) and Hawwaam (131) slog it out in the World Sports Betting Gr1 Champions Challenge on the Champions Day programme at Turffontein.

Hollywoodbets have been in the news in KZN and it’s another milestone for the leading SA bookmakers when they add their famous branding for the first time to a Gr1 event – that being the SA Champions Season’s premier weight-for-age mile, the Gold Challenge.

The Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge is one of a trio of Gr1 contests on the Sunday card, the other being the 3yo clashes, the Daily News 2000 and the Woolavington 2000.

Last year’s Gold Challenge trifecta of Do It Again, Cirillo and Sun Met runner-up Rainbow Bridge renew rivalry, and the titanic trio take on the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate  champion Vardy and his stable companion Twist Of Fate.

Lady Of Steel – first time at Hollywoodbets Greyville as she takes on the Pudding! (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The Woolavington 2000 hosts a fascinating clash between two unbeaten runners – SA Triple Tiara queen Summer Pudding and Johan Janse van Vuuren’s Acacia Handicap winner Lady Of Steel.

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Winning Form-sponsored Warren Kennedy is back aboard the Paul Peter-trained Summer Pudding, while the returning from injury Bernard Fayd’Herbe will ride Lady Of Steel. Both fillies will have their first start at Hollywoodbets Greyville and are drawn alongside each other.


Trainer Mike de Kock, pictured above, has a power hand in a number of the Graded races to be run at Turffontein on Saturday.

Hawwaam and Soqrat dominate the field for the World Sports Betting Gr1 Champions Challenge over 2000m with the former looking tough to beat following his easy victory in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes earlier this month

Hawwaam dominated this race last year and he will be a popular banker in all exotics.

Down at Kenilworth on the Robert Bloomberg-sponsored raceday on Saturday, all eyes will be on Piet Steyn’s unbeaten Potala Palace colt Katak who takes on ten rivals in the Gr3 Abe Bloomberg Legal Eagle Stakes.

Unbeaten Katak – rain, rain stay away? (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Steyn is reportedly concerned about the potential sticky underfoot conditions with plenty of wet weather forecast in the Cape in the next few days.

It will be good to welcome Grant van Niekerk back to his home turf after things went pear-shaped for the young rider in Hong Kong. We wish him well.

The weekend gets under way at Fairview on Friday with two Listed features.

Snaith raider Favorita is back at Fairview where she won the East Cape Nursery by almost ten lengths. While she disappointed at Kenilworth last time, she steps up in trip and is well drawn. She looks very hard to beat!

  • Let us have your thoughts on the banker options – please drop us a comment

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7 comments on “Any Bankers On The Weekend?

  1. Stephen Carter says:

    William The Silent

  2. Asgar Essack says:

    I am taking an awesome foursome on Saturday.
    Queen Supreme
    Mr Flood
    What do you think Mr William
    Can we stand in the payout que.

  3. Sanjith Bugwandeen says:

    Grade 1 Daily News 2000. Golden Ducat my banker

  4. Mr. Essack, why not.

    Queen Supreme is my early choice as outsider for the July. I think she is better than Summer Pudding.

    I’m concerned that we might not race @ Kenilworth this Saturday… It’s raining plenty here.

  5. Marshall says:

    Queen Supreme
    Mr Flood
    Mighty High

    My bets for weekend

  6. Asgar Essack says:

    Racing is a funny game. One day the horse can run a fantastic second to Hawwaam.
    The next time against her own sex Queen Supreme could only manage a disgusting third.
    Hawwaam’s impressive victory gave us a little joy other than that punter’s got a mauling of their lives.
    I had a feeling that one of.De Kocks favourites will die but I couldn’t figure which one.
    Perhaps we live to fight another day.
    Sorry William my selections ran like dogs.

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