Summer Cup runners under the pump according to handicapper

The Grade 1 Gauteng Summer Cup final field was announced yesterday and the best horses in the good field of 19 will have a better chance than usual this year as the weight spread from top to bottom has been changed to just 6kg.

War Of Athena relishes any task put in front of her, although she will have to do it on her own this time as her trusty pacemaker is not in the field. The small filly easily stays the trip, relaxes in the running and has a magnificent turn of foot so her big action can carry 57.5kg to victory from a good draw of five.

Malmoos, who carries 59kg, ended up caught wide in the Grade 2 Allied Steelrode-Onamission (OSA) Mile last time and became short of room when making some inroads in the straight. He also probably needed it so a line can be drawn through that run. He has his second run after a layoff but that should not be a concern for the flying De Kock yard and pole position will suit his good gatespeed and handy running style perfectly.

Stablemate Al Muthana steps up to a trip he will appreciate and although 5.5kg under sufferance off his 104 merit rating he has always struck as one who would improve as a four-year-old and his good finish means he can afford to be dropped out from draw 14.

Bingwa has a fine temperament and a huge stride and those two combined should help him stay this tough 2000m. He made the field look ordinary when romping home in the OSA Mile and his seven point raise to 118 means he has to carry a manageable 55,5kg. He drew 19 so fortune will have to be with him as it was in the OSA Mile, when able to slot into a handy position without much fuel being expended.

Topweight Got The Greenlight is known for his fine turn of foot but he does come off a slightly lacklustre performance by his standards in the OSA Mile when beaten 5,75 lengths, only the second unplaced run of his career. He did have to carry 62kg that day and this will now be his third run after a layoff. The 6kg spread from top to bottom, gives him a shout if he bounces back although that last run creates the concern he is past his peak. Draw ten is fine for his hold up running style.

Golden Pheasant has proved this season he enjoys middle distances so although he is 1kg under sufferance he could still have more to come. although he has a tricky draw of 12.

Puerto Manzano is 1kg under sufferance but should progress this season and has his third run after a layoff over what should be an ideal course and distance. He can be dropped out from draw 17 as he finishes well.

Sparkling Water finished strongly to win the Victory Moon to remain uneaten this season so she is on the up but will have to improve again because off a 109 rating she is 3kg under sufferance. She will likely be dropped out from the widest draw of all.

Majestic Mozart pulverised a Progress Plate field last time out over 1600m at Turffontein Standside. He effectively has to run off a 114 rating, as he is 2kg under sufferance carrying 54kg, yet he could not win the Peninsula Handicap over 1800m off a 107 and a 106 rating in two respective attempts. However, in one of those attempts, in January 2020, he was beaten just 1,55 lengths by subsequent VDJ winner Belgarion when receiving just 1kg so that run adds fuel to the debate that it is easier to win off a given rating in centres outside of Cape Town. He drew eleven.

Shango won the Grade 3 Hollywoodbets 2200 in good style and sneaks into the handicap with the minimum weight so could be a big runner, although he has a tricky draw of 13.

Tarry stablemate Flying Carpet is a big horse who finished strongly in the Victory Moon over 1800m for 2,50 length fourth and although he is off only a 107 rating and is 4kg under sufferance he could still progress. He needs a good draw and got one, barrier four.

Another stablemate Tree Tumbo finished a 7,25 length third last year when in the handicap off a 109 rating but he is now 3.5kg under sufferance off his 107 rating and he drew wide in sixteen.

Another stablemate Tierra Del Fuego is rated 107 and is 3.5kg under sufferance but finished a decent nine length fifth last year carrying topweight off a 120 rating, so he has place claims if able to bounce back to form. He drew nine.

Another stablemate Seehaam is becoming a disappointing sort and is 3.5kg under sufferance off her 107 rating. She drew well in eight.

Second Base showed his liking for this course and distance when just failing to win the Grade 1 4Racing Premier's Champions Challenge. He is 4kg better off for a 6,90 length beating by Golden Pheasant in the Victory Moon and should have come on from that run. He has a tough draw of 15.

African Adventure is an out and out stayer but surprised recently when winning over 1800m, so is a dark horse carrying 55,5kg, especially if the pace is strong. He drew well in three.

Astrix was runner up in both the OSA Mile and Victory Moon but he is 1kg under sufferance and this trip might stretch him, although draw six helps his cause.

Johnny Hero won the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m here but in the July he ran to roundabout his 106 rating and is now 4kg under sufferance. He drew seven.

Green Haze is 7kg under sufferance and is not in terrific form but did draw well in two.

Gold Circle 

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