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Picture: Nebraas runs in the ROA Stakes over 3200m (JC Photos)

Ace three-year-olds kept apart, but there’s still needle in the air

Mike Moon (The Citizen)

High quality, highly competitive fare is a feature of the programme at Saturday’s Betway Summer Cup race meeting at Turffontein.

For example, in the marathon event, the 3200m ROA Stayers, more than half of the field of nine are clustered together within a point of each other at the top of the bookmakers’ betting boards.

It offers a good opportunity to apply the mind to a Quartet or Trifecta that will swell the wallet.

Former Gold Cup champion Nebraas (3-1) is the quality in the race, but must shoulder top weight of 60kg, whereas the likes of Flying Bull (33-10), Black Thorn (7-2), Arumugam (7-2) and Breeze Over (4-1) have a lot less to carry as they circumnavigate the famous old Big T.

In the Grade 3 Betway Fillies Mile, a vintage scrap is promised between the talented White Pearl and Egyptian Mau, with unbeaten girl wonder Gimme A Nother waiting to pounce if the two more experienced runners slip up.

Racing connoisseurs might feel frustrated that the next instalment of the fierce rivalry between three-year-olds Main Defender and Sandringham Summit will not happen in the main supporting event – the Grade 2 Jonsson Workwear Dingaans. Both stars will be in action on the day, however – just in different races.

Still, there’s more than enough close racing and decent winning payout chances to keep fans engrossed on the occasion of Joburg’s biggest horse race and gala social event.

Another Grade 3 race, the Joburg Tourism Carry On Alice Stakes, is a 1160m sprint for fillies and mares, with no fewer than 18 chargers lining up at the end of the Turffontein straight and the bookies offering long odds about most of them.

Top trainers Sean Tarry and Mike de Kock love to target multiple wins at big meetings like the Summer Cup and they field a third of the lineup here.