SA Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding despatched with the neighsayers and doubting Thomases in just over two action-packed minutes at Turffontein on Saturday.
The daughter of Silvano overcame all the odds to win the R1 million World Sports Betting Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup and make it an outstanding nine wins in nine career starts.
A man who already labelled her ‘something special’, regular pilot, the Winning Form-sponsored Warren Kennedy said he had ‘newfound respect’ for the star Paul Peter galloper. Kennedy has been aboard at 7 of her 9 wins. He rode a copybook race on a brilliant filly.
On a grey afternoon in the South of Joburg, exacerbated by the absence of the crowds of sunny days past, Summer Pudding delivered a crackerjack performance in her first start in male company, from an 18 draw, lumping 59kgs – at her second run after a rest.
Following in the golden hoofprints of past 21st century fairer sex winners, Ilha Da Vitoria (2005), Flirtation (2010) and Dancewiththedevil (2011), Summer Pudding confirmed her status as one of SA racing’s modern era stars, when she moved forward halfway down the straight, and stormed clear as the 7-2 second favourite to beat another class lady in Paul Matchett’s Brave Tin Soldier mare Running Brave (33-1) by 2,50 lengths in a time of 124,07 secs.
The pair were 4,75 lengths of the first male home in Tree Tumbo ( 20-1), also first back of the Sean Tarry quintet.
St John Gray’s Dance Class (28-1) shaded Tierra Del Fuego (40-1) for fourth.
Fairview raider Zietsman Oosthuizen will be pleased that his longhauler Atyaab (80-1) ran the race of his life for sixth and ten lengths back.
Favourite Pack Leader made no show and finished over 13 lengths downfield with Charles (6-1), Tristful (25-1) and Riverstown (50-1) finishing a distance back.
It was a terrific day for trainer Paul Peter who has done a sterling job with his champion. In the post-race interview he said it had been an emotional week.
“We lost two good friends this week, including John Tshabala who was our Head Groom. He was an inspiration and a great source of knowledge. But thanks again to the Jells and to Summer Pudding. And to Mr Ormond Ferraris for his guidance,” he added.
The Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein-bred winner is by champion sire Silvano (Lomitas) out of seven-time winning stakes winner Cherry On The Cake(Strike Smartly) – the latter a half sister to SA Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top (Tiger Ridge).
A perfect nine from nine, she has banked R2 089 500.
The plans were recently announced to send her to Cape Town for the summer, where she will be based with Eric Sands.
The Met could be her ultimate target where she could follow in the footsteps of a recent yellow and black flagged heroine in 2016 superstar, Smart Call.
And lwhile noboyd ever remembers who ran second, let’s spare a thought for runner-up Running Brave. In any other year, she may have cracked it. A terrific effort!