Jack Milner: Abashiri has moved to the top of the boards for the R2-million Sansui Summer Cup following his excellent return to racing at Turffontein last Saturday.
Having his first run since finishing unplaced in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth in January, the 2016 SA Triple Crown champion finished a 1.70-length second behind Brazuca in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m on the Inside track.
Trainer Mike Azzie said Abashiri “just blew us away with that run”. The gelding needed the run badly and the connections would have been delighted had he finished within five lengths of the winner.
Betting World wasted no time in shortening him from 16-1 into 7-1 for the Grade 1 race over 2000m on the Turffontein Standside track on Saturday 25 November.
Gold Cup winner Hermoso Mundo, who is unbeaten since joining the Weiho Marwing yard, is the only other runner quoted in single figures at 9-1. Mike de Kock-trained Nother Russia is at 10-1 while Pagoda, from the yard of Geoff Woodruff who is seeking his fifth successive Summer Cup victory, at 14-1.
Pagoda, who won the Listed Derby Trial over the Summer Cup course and distance, will have his first run of the season in a Pinnacle Stakes over 2000m on the Inside track at Turffontein on Saturday.
Betting World’s Sansui Summer Cup betting: 7-1 Abashiri, 9-1 Hermoso Mundo, 10-1 Nother Russia; 14-1 Pagoda; 16-1 Matador Man, Brazuca, Crowd Pleaser; 20-1 Liege; 25-1 Master Sabina, Coral Fever, Deo Juvente, French Navy, 28-1 Banner Hill, 30-1 Elevated, Wind Chill, 33-1 Orchid Island, Tilbury Fort, Fort Ember, Gilder Pilot, Kilrain; 35-1 and upwards others.