Everybody loves a winner, and when you get three in the same race, it’s pretty awesome.

But that is exactly what awaits racing fans in the Grade 1 4Racing Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday.

Last season’s Horse-Of-The-Year and Equus Champion Three-Year-Old filly Summer Pudding comes up against the Champion Three-Year-Old colt Got The Greenlight and they are joined by the likely future champion three-year-old colt and SA Triple Crown winner Malmoos.

All three love Turffontein, none of them will be troubled by the distance and this will be the first time any of them have met.

Joe Soma, who trains Got The Greenlight believes these are three of the best runners in the country over 2000m.

 “We are looking forward to the challenge and it’s wonderful to be part of it. There are three true champions in this race.”

Mike de Kock trains Malmoos, and despite the fact his charge has had a tough season, winning all three legs of the WSB SA Triple Crown, added: “The occasion is bigger than all of us. This is our season, it’s Champions Day and we must support it by running our best horses.”

Paul Peter, trainer of Summer Pudding, concurred. “After running her in the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes just two weeks ago, we contemplated not running her in this race.

“But she pulled up so well, and this is such a great race day, we had to let her compete.”

All three trainers know this is going to be fought right down to the wire. They all are strong competitors, and none will go down without a fight.  

In fact, even the bookmakers cannot find a favourite and all three runners are quoted at 2-1 to win this race.

But while we would love to see a triple dead heat, we are tipsters and have to choose a winner. Since there is no collateral form between the three, there is no certainty that the handicappers’ assessment of Summer Pudding is accurate at 129, it does give the four-year-old Silvano filly has a 4.5kg pull over Malmoos and 5kg over Got The Greenlight, and that could give her the edge.

Summer Pudding had her final fast work on Tuesday.

“She looks superb,” said Peter. “She’s looking bright, she’s eating well, so going into the race I am feeling quite confident.”

Both Summer Pudding and Got The Greenlight will be having their third runs after a layoff and should be in the pink of condition.

“It’s the first time since his comeback (on 6 March) that we’ve had four weeks without any interference in his work,” said Soma of Got The Greenlight.

“He is definitely fitter, but then he has to be because we are taking on a lot stronger this time round.”

De Kock has a very high opinion of Malmoos who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former stablemate Hawwaam, who won this race in 2019 and 2020. “He hasn’t been out of his age group and he has had a hard season, but he is very good.”

The son of Captain Al was not hard-pressed to win either the Grade 1 WSB SA Classic or the WSB SA Derby, where he left his opposition floundering behind him.    

Equally hard, is to work out who will run fourth as that could also go to any of the remining six runners.

There is also a carryover Pick 6 of R4 million with the pool likely to reach R12 million so there is big money to be won.

Jack Milner’s selections

Race 1: 5 Happy And Glorious, 4 Aragosta, 3 Winter With Jo, 1 Fisher King

Race 2: 2 Ikigai, 1 Expressfromtheus, 11 Battle Force, 6 Astrix

Race 3: 9 Under Your Spell, 5 Heavens Girl, 2 Desert Miracle, 3 Freed From Desire

Race 4: 6 Smorgasbord, 9 Sheela, 2 Pyromaniac, 4 Rollwiththepunches

Race 5: 8 Sweet Future, 9 Celestial Love, 5 Tropic Sun, 3 Sarah

Race 6: 1 Running Brave, 7 Netta, 6 Sparkling Water, 4 Seehaam

Race 7: 2 Rio Querari, 4 Russet Air, 9 True To Life, 11 Vernichey

Race 8: 7 Summer Pudding, 1 Got The Greenlight, 8 Malmoos, 9 Second Base

Race 9: 1 African Adventure, 5 Don’T Look Back, 3 Imperial Ruby, 7 Smoking Hot

Race 10: 14 I Dream Of Genie, 1 Eyes On Tiger, 8 South Boy, 16 Coming In Hot

BEST BET

Race 3 No 9 Under Your Spell

VALUE BET

Race 2 No 2 Ikigai

BEST SWINGER

Race 9 1×5

www.tabonline.co.za – Jack Milner

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