PATHS OF VICTORY WINS GOLD CUP
Jack Milner: Jockey S’manga Khumalo and trainer Gareth van Zyl pulled off a major upset on Saturday when Paths Of Victory won the Grade 3 World Sports Betting Gold Cup over 3200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
The five-year-old son of Noble Tune, who went off at 40-1, led from pillar to post to hold off Paybackthemoney by 0.80 lengths with Flichity By Farr 0.50 lengths back in third. Eyes Wide Open finished fourth, just a short head further back.
The result was a major upset on all levels, as the winner went off at 40-1, the runner-up at 45-1 and the third-placed horse at 70-1. Eyes Wide Open performed best of the fancied runners as he went off at 9-1.
This resulted in a Trifecta payout of 31,287.70 and a massive Quartet dividend of R703,395
On a day when front-running tactics were paying off, it still seemed unlikely any jockey would have the gall to try it over 3200m. But Khumalo is not rated one of the best of his profession for nothing. “At first, with his light weight, we wanted to give him a little bit of cover and then follow them through.
“But he came out so well and he had so much running in him I felt, with his light weight, to ease him out would have been the wrong thing.
“He enjoyed every furlong we went.”
Flichity By Farr raced second ahead of Paybackthemoney and Dharma while favourites It’s My Turn, Marchingontogther, Imperial Ruby and Eyes Wide Open were near the rear.
“Going through the 1000m I tried to give him a breather but he just wanted to gallop. So I just let him do his thing.”
Once in the straight Paths Of Victory kicked again and it was left to the top weights to try and come from way back to catch him. Muzi Yeni on Paybackthemoney threw everything he could at his mount but Khumalo had done enough to pinch the race.
“He didn’t even want to stop at the end,” said Khumalo.
Interestingly, the first three into the straight finished first, second and third. In fact, they raced in that position for over 2000m.
Van Zyl praised Khumalo for his excellent ride and added: “After his run in last year’s Gold Vase we picked this horse out as our 2020 Gold Cup runner.”
Paths Of Victory is owned by Mario Ferreira, bred by Rathmore Stud and was a R220,000 purchase at the 2017 National Yearling Sales.