Southern Hemisphere racing is in full swing and the South African Summer Season is previewed
As racing winds down in the Northern Hemisphere, the South African trainers are starting to wind up their stars for the upcoming summer season. The summer season starts with the Johannesburg features in October and November, before the action moves down to Cape Town in December with the first of the three-year-old Classic races, the Group 1 Cape Fillies Guineas, followed by the colts’ equivalent, the Group 1 Cape Guineas, two weeks later.
For the first time in many years Mike de Kock sent only five runners to Dubai for the Carnival, thus leaving a strong contingent at home to contest the major Group races such as the Group 1 Summer Cup and the SA Triple Crown.
Hence the champion trainer will be contesting the Highveld season with the likes of Jubilee Line and Mitraad (AUS). Jubilee Line, a R3 million purchase by Shadwell South Africa, recently shed his maiden status, with an eye catching 3/4 lengths victory over 1600m, while Mitraad, another of Sheikh Hamdan’s runners, has won four of his five starts. The highlights of the Highveld Summer season include the Group 2 Charity Mile and the Group 1 Summer Cup (2000m).
The recent announcement that the 2014 Equus Horse of the Year Legislate and the 2015 Equus Horse of the Year, Futura, both five, will not be retiring to stud, but will instead be contesting the upcoming features such as the Group 1 Queen’s Plate (1600m) and the Group 1 J &B Met (2000m) at Kenilworth has been met with great excitement.
Add up-and-coming stars such as Cape Guineas winner Act Of War, who ran away with the Group 3 Matchem Stakes on his seasonal debut and Inara, the Group 1 Paddock Stakes and Group1 Majorca Stakes winner, into the mix and the Cape Summer season promises to be a hotly contested affair.