Three second stage entries, including the only 3yo in the class of ’23, were received for the R5 million Betway Gr1 Summer Cup on Tuesday.
The Highveld flagship race will be run at Turffontein on 25 November and interest is building after an impressive victory by defending champion Puerto Manzano in the Allied Steelrode Onamission Charity Mile last Saturday.
On Tuesday KZN trainer Tienie Prinsloo supplemented the progressive Erupt gelding Sugar Blast, while fellow Summervelder Nathan Kotzen nominated recent Michaelmas Handicap winner Royal Victory.
Lucky Houdalakis added the dual Gr2 winner None Other into the mix.
While the latest big race log was published on Monday, and thus does not include the second stage trio, it is fair to say that both Royal Victory and None Other are potential log candidates.
But it is the 3yo Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein Stud-bred Sugar Blast, a former Mike de Kock charge, who is the interesting entry at this stage.
Raced in partnership by Peet Boonzaaier and Herman Beukes, he failed to set the tracks alight in his first four starts on the Highveld and was transferred to the Prinsloo stable for a change of scenery.
Four runs later, Sugar Blast has a second and two consecutive wins to his credit. He was not tried over further than a mile with De Kock, but showed something the moment he went 1750m with Tienie Prinsloo.
He shed his maiden on the turf over 1900m at Hollywoodbets Greyville, and then followed up with an equally easy victory, notably in good time, over 2000m on the all-weather at the same venue.
With a string of just ten horses, Tienie Prinsloo, the man who bought the boom 3yo Main Defender for relatively small money, achieves remarkable results. His win strike-rate is over 10%, while his 39 runners this season have delivered a 51% strike-rate.
The former Northern Cape champion trainer is excited to have a Summer Cup entry and says that his owners were keen to take their chances.
“If you don’t have a ticket, you don’t have a chance. Sugar Blast has improved since being tried over ground and is a lightly raced 3yo with plenty of scope. He shows a lot of pace for a staying type of horse. My owners are passionate racing men and are prepared to pay the costs and let the process follow it’s course. We may get lucky, who knows what happens. We have to dream big in this game,” Tienie told the Sporting Post on Tuesday.
He confirmed that the plan was that Sugar Blast would run at Hollywoodbets Greyville over a mile on Wednesday 8 November.
“He is well, and even though it is marginally on the short side for him, we’d like to see him show his class,” he added.
Final entries for the Betway Summer Cup close at 09h00 on Monday 13 November 2023. Weights will be published the same day.
There are currently 41 entries – only 20 can run.
Declarations are due by 11h00 on Wednesday 15 November 2023.