In 1999 Phumelela reintroduced the historic Summer Cup to the racing calendar in its traditional format.
On Tuesday the beleaguered racing operator vacated the South African racing landscape forever on the proverbial Flying Carpet as they hosted their final renewal of the big race, now known as the World Sports Betting presents the Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup.
Great expectations and talk of a new dawn for the game will have the new incumbent 4Racing under the cosh from the jump on Wednesday.
But that’s politics and commercial realities. For now all we wanted to see was the big meeting delayed from Saturday go ahead.
And despite Weiho Marwing’s apply named Thunder Shower rocking the boat by winning the opener on the improvised Tuesday slot, Mother Nature generously played ball and Randjesfontein trainer Sean Tarry produced the goods for the fifth time in the Highveld showpiece.
After Puerto Manzano had carted them along for much of the journey following his prominent jump from his wide gate, there was plenty of jostling for position all the way around.
In the final 300m, it was anybody’s race with former Capetonian Majestic Mozart looking to script a fairytale under Diego de Gouveia as he cruised up almost nonchalantly.
But the joker was still in the pack, and inside the final 200m Calvin Habib unleashed the 25-1 Flying Carpet off the middle inside with a devastating late run.
The son of Judpot made up the ground effortlessly and went on to score the upset by a quarter length in a time of 124,84 secs.
As we noted, Ashley Fortune’s 6yo Majestic Mozart (16-1) looked a winner late in the race and what a pleasure it is when a plan nearly comes together. He should yet win his fair share in Gauteng.
Barend Botes and Yolande Vosloo’s 7yo Golden Pheasant (40-1) ran a cracker 1,25 length back in third, with Tyrone Zackey’s soldier Johnny Hero (100-1) shading SA Triple Tiara queen and favourite War Of Athena out of fourth, to crown the record quartet dividend.
38 lengths separated top to tail and there will be many hard-luck stories, with the delay and the weather in the build-up hardly being ideal. But that’s the rub of the racing green – life goes on.
Winning rider Calvin Habib was registering his second Gr1 strike of his career and has made a miracle recovery in just four months since fracturing his back.
“I put my faith in God. And Mr Tarry has put his faith in me since my injury. Thanks to Mark Tarry who gave me the insight. Thanks to the owners and to the team,”he added.
Sean Tarry expressed his gratitude to his team and particularly his well-informed brother Mark. History shows that the former SA Champion trainer won the Summer Cup in 2017,2018 and 2019 – and now in 2021, all with lightweights!
An astute buy for R100 000 at the 2019 BSA Ready To Run Sale, Flying Carpet is by former Varsfontein A.P. Indy stallion Judpot, who is now based at the Birch Bros Vogel Vlei Stud.
He was bred by Riethuiskraal Stud from the twice-winning Kabool mare, Zahir Shah.
Flying Carpet has won 3 races with 6 places from 16 starts for stakes of R1 477 550.
Talk was that with the compressed handicap, we had to look no further than the top six.
But a record quartet dividend of R4 299 615, with a nominal carryover, will attest to the fact that not everything went according to plan for the form gurus on the day.
What a race. Let’s drink a toast to the new dawn.
|1ST||13||FLYING CARPET||S G Tarry||C Habib||—–||25/1|
|2ND||11||MAJESTIC MOZART||A B Fortune||D De Gouveia||0,25||0,25||16/1|
|3RD||10||GOLDEN PHEASANT||B/Y Botes Vosloo||R Munger||1,25||1,50||40/1|
|4TH||17||JOHNNY HERO||T Zackey||D Schwarz||0,75||2,25||100/1|
|5TH||3||WAR OF ATHENA||P F Matchett||M Yeni||0,05||2,30||3/1|
|TIME OF RACE: 124.84 s|
|Tote Fav||3||WAR OF ATHENA||P F Matchett||M Yeni||2,30||3/1|