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Devon Pretorius (right) became used to presenting bonus cheques to raiding trainers during the Cape Summer, but on Wednesday it was his turn to receive a big payout. (Picture credit: Wayne Marks).

Promising Cape trainee commentator Devon Pretorius was one of two players who scooped prize money of R280,000 each for selecting all seven winners of Wednesday’s  Hollywoodbets Scottsville meeting in the popular Hollywoodbets Punters Challenge competition.

There were 56 actual runners today meaning the total prize money was R560,000 and as there were two winners that money was split in two. 
Any prize money won is doubled if the player has taken a bet of at least R50 on the punters challenge bet slip before the meeting starts.
In this case nether player played the bet.
Devon Pretorius is the son of well known racing presenter Neil Pretorius.
He has been doing a fine job as a trainee commentator in Cape Town and has stepped up to doing full meetings since the sidelining through injury of one of the regular callers Rouvaun Smit.
“I am still shaking,” said Devon, when contacted by a Hollywoodbets representative.
The 21-year-old racing fanatic added, “There were only seven races on the card today. I studied the form. It’s so weird as in the last race I almost went for Quest For The Best, but suddenly had one of those near spiritual moments only racing people will understand. It was a dash of inspiration where I saw Trade War’s silks in my head. He was in front. In the end it was something of an inspired decision, no matter how odd it may sound,” he laughed.
He continued, “Life is expensive, so a surprise like this is very welcome. Thanks to Hollywoodbets. They have done so much for racing, and now I personally am in the winner’s queue. I am so chuffed. Thank you again and congratulations to my co-winner.”
The other winner is Durban-based and went by the user name of NARSADU. He has apparently only been a punter for two months.
The winner of the first race, the Wendy Whitehead-trained Erupt filly Hot Pearl, would have knocked a few entries out because she started at 11/2 and beat the 83/100 favourite Sign Of fate by 2,60 lengths, despite having been beaten 5,10 lengths by the latter when they met on their debuts.
Keagan de Melo was aboard the first race winner and then converted favouritism on the next two winners, the 87/100 Alyson Wright-trained Jet Legacy (Divine Jet)and the Paul Lafferty-trained 3/1 shot Lady Serena (Wyle Hall).
The fourth was won by the Gareth van Zyl-trained 46/100 favourite Money Heist (Gimmethegreenlight), who got up in the last stride under Athandiwe Mgudlwa. 
The fifth was won by another favourite. The impressive, long-striding mare Macara (Vercingetorix) finished strongly under Kabelo Matsunyane to win by 1,10 lengths at 9/2 odds to give Wendy Whitehead a double.
In the sixth race the Mark Dixon-trained Escapologist (Linngari) was yet another favourite to arrive, having been backed in to 5/2 and finishing strongly to win by 1,10 lengths. She gave De Melo a four-timer.
The two Punters Challenge prize winners would have been on tenterhooks for half-a-minute or so after their choice in the last, the 4/1 second favourite Trade War, a Pathfork gelding trained by Nathan Kotzen, flashed past the post locked together with 7/1 shot Gimme A Rainbow, who had no potential Punters Challenge winners riding on him.
The slow motion replay showed Trade War to have got up by a short-head and it was celebration time for the two stalwart analysts!