De Kock hoping Orchid Island blossoms in Summer Cup
South Africa, Saturday 2.50pm (GMT)
Turffontein: Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup (Grade 1 Handicap) 1m2f, turf, 3-y-o+
Orchid Island (Mike de Kock/Anthony Delpech) is 6-1 favourite locally to give his trainer an incredible tenth Summer Cup win following the filly’s encouraging fourth on her return in the Grade 3 Victory Moon Stakes over a furlong shorter at the track earlier in the month.
De Kock’s son and assistant Matthew said: “She took that race very well, she has a nice draw [ten] and everything is in her favour. But this is one of the most open Summer Cups since I’ve been in the game.”
Geoff Woodruff has won the last four runnings and is double-handed with last year’s third Master Switch (Piere Strydom) and Pagoda (JP van der Merwe). Master Switch finished a length and three-quarters in front of Orchid Island in the Victory Moon and is a kilo better off at the weights.
Woodruff told tabnews.co.za: “Master Switch has to overcome a 16 draw so his fate will depend on the pace. Sometimes Pagoda gives himself too much to do so I hope JP can keep him a little closer to the leaders this time.”
Triple Crown winner Abashiri (Mike Azzie/Karl Zechner) was sixth in the Victory Moon and, although drawn one from the outside, his trainer is confident, saying: “He can afford to start from gate 19 because he oozes class.”
Johan Janse van Vuuren runs four – topweight New Predator (Brandon Lerena), recent winners Brazuca (Gavin Lerena) and Girl On The Run (Donovan Mansour) as well as Crowd Pleaser (Keagan de Melo), the shortest-priced of the quartet.
He said: “Crowd Pleaser is doing very well at home but my concern is that he is slightly better on a track with a shorter straight and with New Predator there are stamina doubts.”
There has been significant money for Wind Chill (Joey Soma/Callan Murray) and Hermoso Mundo (Weiho Marwing/Weichong Marwing) although the latter is drawn wide and his best form is over a lot further.