Skip to main content

Atticus Finch is coming off a hattrick and should make a bold bid in the Gr 3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m at the Big T tomorrow (Saturday) (JC Photos). 

Victory Moon is the last chance for runners to grab a place in the Summer Cup

Mike Moon (The Citizen)

It’s a last chance saloon to get into the 2023 Betway Summer Cup for most runners in Saturday’s Grade 3 1800m Victory Moon Stakes at Turffontein.

Of the 14 contestants, only Stuart Pettigrew-trained handicapper Whafeef is not among entries for Joburg’s biggest race on 25 November. And, of the 14, only five – None Other, Nebraas, Aragosta, Son Of Raj and Billy Bowlegs – have a spot on the latest Summer Cup Top 20 log of preferred candidates.

The likes of East Coast, Litigation, Star Coin, River Romeo and Atticus Finch are going to have to pull out an eye-catching performance if they are to crack the nod for the Summer Cup.

The connections of Atticus Finch, in particular, will be anxious to get their boy into the big race, with its whopping R5-million stake. The Alec Laird-trained gelding has been backed in from long odds to 14-1 in recent days, so clearly a coup is afoot.

Atticus Finch – named after a character from literature – won four of eight races, including his last three in a row; but his only feature race outing was a dull display in the Gauteng Guineas in February. He seems to be a late developer and should be as fit as a fiddle coming into the Victory Moon.

Half the field, including Atticus Finch, are carrying 52kg, so an upset would not be a major surprise. Among the lightly weighted brigade is Tony Peter’s Electric Gold, who ran a much-improved race after a five-month break and a gelding last time.

Another who is having a second run after a rest is well-bred filly None Other. Trainer Lucky Houdalakis gets his horses firing after layoffs and, though that comeback run looked disappointing it was well short of None Other’s best.

After the fireworks of Saturday’s Charity Cup meeting, the Big T offers plenty more pyrotechnics just a week later.

9 Atticus Finch, 11 Electric Gold, 7 None Other, 3 Nebraas