Thrill in Joburg air as build-up to People’s Race begins

 Aug 11 2017

With the Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup just over three months away trainers and owners who have horses on the periphery of making the final field will be looking at upcoming races to up those merit ratings.

The Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup, one of the country’s “Big Three”, will be run over 2000m on the Turffontein Standside track on Saturday 25 November.

The first of the build-up races, although any Summer Cup contender would probably have to carry quite a bit of weight, is the R750,000 Grand Heritage (Non-Black Type) over 1475m at the Vaal on Saturday 30 September

However, a more likely option would be the Joburg Spring Challenge and the Joburg Spring Fillies And Mares Challenge a week later over 1450m on the Inside track at Turffontein. Both are Grade 2 events with prize money of R400,000.

These are run at weight-for-age plus penalties and are ideal preparation races for the Highveld Spring and Summer Season. 

The next big meeting with a number of key events takes place on Saturday 4 November at Turffontein, with the best option being the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600m. Being a handicap, there could be a massive merit-rating boost to any of the lower rated horses should they win this or even place. 

Fillies and mares get a chance to increase their merit ratings in the Grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m, while three-year-olds have the Graham Beck Stakes and the Starling Stakes for fillies to help their cause. They are both Grade 3 Conditions races over 1400m.

The final big feature event before the Gauteng Summer Cup is the R400,000 Victory Moon Stakes, a Grade 3 Conditions race over 1800m on Saturday 11 November.

This is often viewed as a curtain raiser to the big race and over the years many horses who have run well in this event have gone on either to win or place in the Gauteng Summer Cup.

This year’s Gauteng Summer Cup was launched in Joburg last week and once again the “People’s Race” will provide fun and entertainment for the entire family. There will be a carnival feel about the meeting with a variety of music, fashion shows and entertainment for the kids as well.

The meeting will also embrace and celebrate the ethnicity of Joburg yet at the same time, bring everybody together to enjoy the day as one.



Jack Milner

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