where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-11-25 14:22:18  
Royal Victory Reigns with Summer Cup win

Royal Victory takes the Cup and Reigns

Royal Victory, with Muzi Yeni, aboard provided Nathan Kotzen with a Gr1 Betway Summer Cup win when the 33/1 outsider shocked Turffontein with a clear 2.25 length victory in Joburg's Premier Grade 1 handicap.

The day was frought with disaster after disaster with punters taking the brunt of it. The Tony Peter saga started it off as all of his horses were scratched after the first and then the Sandringham Summit loss at 4/10 in the Dingaans had punters scrambling for winners to recoup losses. The Summer Cup provided no respite with this horse further drowning punters in misery.

However, the Grandstands looked full of new and old fans and they were treated to a Muzi Yeni masterclass as he bided his time and took off at the the 300m pole to score.

Safe Passage was in a great position throughout the run and had a great chance in the straight only to be denied by the flying Royal Victory. Bless My Stars was equally impressive from her position and ran an excellent race. Top weight and defending champion Puerto Manzano was beaten 4.6 lengths at the wire with July winner Winchester Mansion not much better beaten 4.2 lengths. Atticus Finch was also never in it.

The top 11 runners were split by only 4.75 lengths in a true handicap.

The interesting side note to the Royal Victory story is that he won the listed Michaelmas Handicap at Greyville in October to earn his place in this race. As the only out of towner, he controversially beat Pirate Prince and Cape Eagle that day. The controversy came in the form of Cape Eagle whose jockey was banned for 4 months for not giving his mount a full opportunity to win. That win gave Royal Victory his 111 merit rating and hence boosting his rating from a 108 to the 111. As one of the lowest rated horses in this contest, he just made the final field aided by that latest win. Only 3 other runners (2 others scratched) were rated lower than him in the contest.

The controversial Summer Reign theme, one that was a play on words and needed to explained over and over throughout the week, ended up being apt as the horse that 'reigned' was the one with the royal name.

Royal Victory
Dam Sire: KAHAL (GB)
Breeder: Dr M Thomson, Ambiance Stud
Owner: Messrs P J Victor, B J Wiese & Natasha Sturdy

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