Skip to main content

Picture : Trois Trois Quatre is a Betway Summer Cup possibility. His legendary trainer Mike de Kock has won the Summer Cup nine times (JC Photos)   

Mike de Kock is giving the progressive Hollywood Syndicate-owned Trois Trois Quatre the acid test on Saturday at Turffontein Inside by putting him in a strong Pinnacle Stakes event over 2000m and it will tell him whether the Rafeef gelding is good enough to go for the lucrative R5 million Betway Summer Cup.

He said the conditions of the race gave him a chance to expose the four-year-old Rafeef gelding “for free”.
If he wins the race he will only be given a six point raise, while a placed run and see him being given no raise whatsoever even if finishing close to the like of dual Gr 1 winner over this trip Puerto Manzano.
So De Kock will be left with two options after the race.
If he feels he is not up to it he will be able to continue with his handicapping career off the same mark of 87.
However, if he feels he is up to a tilt at the Summer Cup, which will be the case if he wins the race or goes close, then he will be able to take advantage of the “ghost rating” that the handicappers give horses after races like this.
A “ghost rating” is an unofficial merit rating that is a measure of how well the horse performed in such a race. For example if he dead heats with 123-rated Puerto Manzano and the latter is deemed to have run to his best Trois Trois Quatre will get a “ghost rating” of 109 (because he is 7kg under sufferance with Puerto Manazano which equals 14 points).
If the connections then decide to enter him in the Betway Summer Cup with an official merit rating of 87 and a “ghost rating” of 109, he will then be treated by the handicappers as an 87 with the potential to be better. 
So he could in that case make the field ahead of horses rated higher than him.
However, if they want to make more sure of it they can actually request for his merit rating to be upped to 109 and he will then be treated like a 109.
Trois Trois Quatre is 7,5kg under sufferance with the best weighted runner in Saturday’s race, Flashy Apache, and 7kg under sufferance with last season’s Gr 1 Betway Summer Cup and Gr 1 WSB Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Puerto Manzano. 
However, De Kock said he had liked what he had been seeing from this horse, especially the way he had been improving with every run.
He said he was also a sound horse and was in good shape.
He added there was always a time when a horse had to be exposed to see how good he was and he said in this case he would prefer to do it sooner rather than later.     
So Trois Trois Quatre will thus be thrown in to the deep end on Saturday.
However, it would be no surprise to see him winning.
He has always caught the eye with his lovely big action and his engine because the further he goes the more he seems to relish it.
He does lack speed so it was not surprising he was fitted with blinkers after three starts.
However, he underperformed on both occasions with the headgear on and since they have been removed he has run a good third over the too sharp 1400m and followed it with three impressive wins over middle distances.
Puerto Manzano might start favourite despite having to carry 62kg and having to give 10kg to Duke Of Sussex and 12kg to the rest of the field. However, he is known to not be suited to tight tracks like Turffontein Inside because he takes while to get going on the straight.
Trois Trois Quatre would also likely prefer the Standside track.
Flashy Apache is officially the best weighted and has won over the course and distance before, although he is at his best in soft going.
Zeus bounced back to his best last time, albeit over 2600m, but he was also effective over this sort of trip earlier in his career.
Duke Of Sussex has a lot of class and is well drawn but still has to prove he stays this trip.
River Romeo has possibilities having not been disgraced in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 and being just 1,5kg under sufferance with Flashy Apache.
Top Sail gave weight to Son Of Raj in the SA Derby Trial and was not beaten far so has a chance being just 3kg under sufferance with Flashy Apache.
Twin Turbo is exposed and has it tough at the weights.
 It should be an intriguing race and it will show us all how good Trois Trois Quatre is.
The gelding is well named.
His name is French for 334, which was the record number of wins ridden in the 1998/1999 season by the Hollywood Syndicate’s racing manager Anthony Delpech.