Any doubts about a damper being put on the Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup were dispelled on a glorious afternoon at Turffontein Racecourse as Johannesburg was tickled pink.
The weather threatened but in the end the clouds parted and it turned out to be a colourful day, the crowd treated to a sensational performance from Master Sabina as the defending champion reproduced another memorable finish to get home by a length.
It was deja vu for jockey Gavin Lerena and trainer Geoff Woodruff as they teamed up for another success. Seasoned conditioner, Woodruff, was beaming as he claimed a fourth straight Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup victory. His authority well and truly stamped on this Group One race over 2000m.
There was a third equally as jubilant connection with Master Sabina’s groom, Amos, over the moon with a horse he has taken care of from the day the now seven-year-old put a hoof in Woodruff’s yard.
“Well done to Gavin for persevering and to Master Sabina. He’s got a heart the heart of a lion,” Woodruff said, commending a horse who at one stage looked like he might be get beat.
“I suppose history was against us,” Woodruff, who also saddled third-placed Master Switch, said.
“We could all see this horse was better this time around. It’s a handicap, you need luck and this horse nearly got taken out. Well done to Gavin, we never expected it. Honestly.”
Lerena offered a special thank you to Amos as well as his regular workrider for their big part in getting the now two time Group One winning son of Jet Master.
“A big thank you to Amos the groom who absolutely adores this horse and Thomas who works him everyday. You can’t do it without the horse and a big thank you to Mr Woodruff. I was confident that he could get there,” said Lerena.
“Racing is the sport of kings but it’s also the sport of the people and we’re thrilled to once again be involved as SANSUI. Congratulations to all the winners,” Tyrone Vierre, SANSUI Merchandise executive, said of the sponsor’s involvement.
“This event, anchored on horseracing embodies all facets of what the Gauteng City Region is about. It has over the years grown into world-class showcase of the best that our province has to offer in terms of lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, music, nightlife, adventure and gastronomy experiences,” said Siphiwe Ngwenya, the chief executive officer of the Gauteng Tourism Authority
The achievement capped a remarkable day at the course with those who made the trip to the track were treated to a great day out with the Racing. It’s A Rush Summer Garden a particularly popular part of the venue while the carnival and Sound Experience also offered fantastic entertainment on the day.