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Picture: Sandringham Summit at the BSA National Yearling Sales where he was purchased for R1.7 million. (Image: BSA) 

Turf Talk

Sandringham Summit faces his arch rival Main Defender on Sunday in the Gr 3 Betway Got The Greenlight Stakes over 1400m.

Trainer David Nieuwenhuizen gave the thumbs up about his well-being despite the horse having had to work hard in his last race in the Gr 2 Jonsson Workwear Dingaans over 1600m.

Nothing panned out well for him in that race and he had to be content with third place after running on from a hopeless position.

On Sunday he has to give main Defender 1kg, just as he did in the Gr 2 Betway Graham Beck Stakes over the same course and distance, and he will be out to reverse a short-head beating.

Previously, they clashed in the Gr 1 World Pool Moment of The Day Champion Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville as two-year-olds and Sandringham Summit won by a comfortable 2,40 lengths.

David said, “He’s doing very, very well. He’s in a good space at the moment. He came out of his last race well. His work has been good;. I am very happy with him and we are going in to the race very confident that he will run a very, very big race.”

He said about his third place finish in the Gr 2 Jonsson Workwear Dingaans, where he started at cramped odds of 1/3.

“We obviously have to draw a line through that run. He was interfered with by Dennis Schwarz, whose mount kept on hanging in on Gavin and trying to take his position. As he did that Muzi’s mount came out, so Gavin had to drop back and then he dropped the bit. So things didn’t work out there at all well. To be off the bridle and then have to pick it up again and then make up that number of lengths, he did exceptionally well to run so close.”

He continued, “We have to go forward now. There is new ownership and it is fantastic there is a racing and stud syndication through Varsfontein, who bred him. He still has a lot to do and obviously the 1400m is a little too sharp for him. This is just the beginning and he then goes in to the big races, the Gr 2 WSB Gauteng Guineas and the Gr 1 WSB SA Classic. Then we will take it from there.”

Despite having had to work hard in the Dingaans, the Gimmethegreenlight colt recovered well and “is in a good space.”

He has pole position and Gavin Lerena stays aboard.

Calvin Habib rode him in his Gr 1 win and had been another option, but he is not able to commit to being the horse’s full time rider for work and races because he is associated with Main Defender.