Nicci Garner: Ruling champion trainer Sean Tarry has five horses entered for the R500,000 Dingaans (Grade 2) over 1600m, the main supporting feature to the Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup on Saturday 25 November, including top-rated Wonderwall.
Wonderwall came by his 107 merit rating through a 2.25-length win over Finchatton in the Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Turffontein Inside track on 7 October. He went on to finish fourth from a wide draw behind stablemate Big Bear in last Saturday’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup sponsored by CTS over 1400m on the Standside track.
Wonderwall has drawn in the low double digits for the Dingaans but, with 32 entries, is likely to start from a single-figure stall.
Big Bear, a horse highly regarded by the stable, went up six points in the handicap for that Ready To Run Cup win, but his 91 merit rating is still substantially below his stablemate’s 107. That was his third win in a row after finishing third on debut, and many form students will fancy his chances of confirming the form, despite No 18 draw over a course and distance where a good draw counts.
Purple Diamond (drawn 22) was 11th in the Ready To Run Cup, while Silver God (drawn 15) and Missouri (9) were fifth and 10th in the recent Graham Beck Stakes. They make up Tarry’s sizeable entry.
KwaZulu-Natal-based Monks Hood, the second top-rated horse, hails from the stable of Alistair Gordon and ran a close-up fourth in the Premiers Champion Stakes last season.
Trainer Mike de Kock has a goldmine of top-class three-year-olds in his stable at the moment and he has nine horses on the list of Dingaans nominations. Like A Panther (drawn 23) and Puget Sound (drawn 10) are his highest-rated entries.
In-form De Kock would seem to have a much stronger entry for the R400,000 Ipi Tombe Challenge (Grade 2) over 1600m, where he has the top two at the weights in Nother Russia and Orchid Island, both of whom drew well. They are running at Turffontein on Thursday.
Another big race on the day is the R450,000 Merchants (Grade 2) over 1160m. Tarry-trained dual Grade 1 winner Bull Valley heads up the list of entries and could well start favourite if he takes part.
The R275,000 Fillies Mile is the female equivalent of the Dingaans and trainer Stanley Ferreira has entered Fillies Nursery runner-up Winter’s Forge. She has not race since and has drawn at No 13. She is also entered in the R250,000 Magnolia Handicap (Grade 3) over 1160m and will carry top weight of 60.5kg if she runs.
The other supporting feature to the Summer Cup is the R250,000 Racing Association Handicap (Listed) over 3200m and the two highest-rated horses are Weiho Marwing-trained Cool Chardonnay and Joey Soma’s charge Fortissima.
Supplementary entries close on Monday 13 November with declarations due on Wednesday 15 November.