“It’s wonderful to see so many people, it looks like we are going to have the ‘golden summer’ we have wished for,” said Futhi Sithebe, CEO of 4Racing, as she surveyed Turffontein racecourse after a dramatic climax to the Betway Summer Cup on Saturday.
Betway Summer Cup
Puerto Manzano, well fancied at 11-2, landed the famous old trophy and the big crowd was vocal in its appreciation of an exciting and well-organised festival of racing.
Betway, a new sponsor in South African racing put its weight behind the main event and a support feature, the Merchants, one of the country’s famous sprints.
Significantly, one of the Betway contingent on course, said the company hopes to be involved in the local game “for many years to come”.
Another new sponsor, Jonsson Workwear, put its weight behind the venerable Dingaans, an important race for progressive three-year-olds, which was dominated on the day by South Africa’s world-famous trainer Mike de Kock.
Justin Vermaak, Kenilworth Racing boss, commented that it was some time since he’d been at Turffontein, but the quality of the racing experience was “as good as I’ve ever seen it”, adding, “It’s wonderful to see South African racing is in good hands.”
The public might have had a few rough results through the afternoon, but also saw a few favourites land the bacon.
The lucky few who caught the R10-million pool Pick 6 had a thumping R1.16-million payout. In all, the meeting was a notable fillip for racing after the travails of bankruptcy, betrayal and the pandemic.