Mike Moon: There’s so much exciting racing this weekend that punters will be forgiven for going cross-eyed. Once again, the Dubai World Cup at Meydan coincides with a big Saturday meeting at Turffontein, providing a smorgasbord of quality thoroughbred thrills.
And smaller meetings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are there to help build wagering pots and recoup losses.
From a pure sporting perspective, the Grade 1 SA Derby at Turffontein will be the focus of local interest, with charismatic young gun Hawwaam out to confirm his enormous potential.
When bookmakers priced up Mike de Kock’s colt at 1-6 last week it rather dampened the betting appetite for the venerable 2450m race. There has been very little Derby market movement since then, the only stirring being a tightening from 18-1 to 16-1 for Hawwaam’s stablemate Atyaab.
The 1-6 has been something of a talking point in the betting shops, but pity those who fancy a bookmakers’ place bet on Hawwaam. They are faced with odds of 1-100!
One thing in favour of such a short-priced favourite: we don’t have to look far for a banker for our TAB exotic bets.
The Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks has seen a lot more betting action, with Ormond Ferraris-trained Blossom, who opened as 19-10 favourite, being backed into 14-10.
Blossom certainly has the pedigree to succeed in the R1-million contest, her dam Cherry On The Top having won it on her way to the Triple Tiara in 2013.
Also, Blossom’s veteran trainer Ormond Ferraris has a cluster of 10 Oaks trophies in his cabinet, while her owners are from the Oppenheimer family, who have probably lost count of their Oaks victories over the decades.
Second in the Oaks betting is Sean Tarry-trained Return Flight, who has also shortened – from 5-2 to 17-10.
In the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, support for De Kock’s mare Cascapedia has seen her go from 15-4 to 7-2 – with stable companion Soqrat easing at the top of the board from 19-20 to 11-10.
Tote betting for Derby day opened yesterday and the expected avalanche of money started flowing.
A TAB Pick 6 pool of R5 million is likely, thanks to a R2-million carryover – not to mention a fevered Saturday atmosphere.
Another massive drawcard is the R1-million Quartet Maxipool on the SA Derby, Race 8 on the card and starting at 17:10.
There are two Jackpots and two BiPots over the 12 carded races at Turffontein – with the first Jackpot likely to have R1.5 million up for grabs.
The Place Accumulator pool will probably match that.
SA Derby, Grade 1, R2m, 2450m
28-1 Gift For The Gap
35 -1 Duke Of Spin
40-1 Marchingontogether, Last Od The Legend
55-1 Samurai Warrior, Senor Lizard, Master Magic
66-1 Arlington’s Revenge
HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, Grade 1, R1.25m, 1600m
9-2 Legal Eagle
17-2 Tilbury Fort
25-1 Will Pays
28-1 Al Danza
Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks, Grade 2, R1m, 2450m
17-10 Return Flight
7-1 Second Request
13-1 Seville Orange
14-1 Chitengo, Red Al, Fariha
50-1 Pretty Border
To take a bet go to www.tabonline.co.za or www.bettingworld.co.za