Royal Victory wins the recent Michaelmas Handicap (Candiese Lenferna Photography)
Muzi Yeni has snapped up the ride on the Nathan Kotzen-trained Betway Summer Cup outsider Royal Victory.
The four-year-old Pathfork gelding has had three runs this season over 1200m, 1400m and 1900m and in the last of them he stepped up to 1900m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf in the non-Black Type PinkDrive Michaelmas Handicap and won by a head in fine style after coming from the back.
He was ridden by Calvin Habib in all of those races.
However, Habib had committed to Atticus Finch a long time ago and the latter booked his place in the race on Saturday with victory in the Gr 3 Betway Victory Moon Stakes.
Nathan said Royal Victory had come out of his win very well.
He said, “I always thought he doesn’t quite stay and I said to the owner Peter Victor if he doesn’t win the 1900m race we don’t bother going to the Summer Cup. He kicked on very nicely and won a good race going away.”
Kotzen supplemented Royal Victory for the Summer Cup after the Michaelmas win.
Royal Victory comes out quite well on the formlines of the Gr 1 WSB SA Classic, in which he finished a three length fifth last season.
He might not have been at his best that day either, because Nathan recalled he had not been impressed by his final work out before the SA Classic.
That was the reason he decided to give him a rest after the race and not aim him at any of the Champions Season classic events.
He reveealed the horse had had a few niggles with his feet around that time, but that had now been sorted out.
Royal Victory should get in to the Summer Cup final field as the entries are starting to break up. He is one of the highest merit rated borderline cases.
Nathan said the horse would travel up to Johannesburg on the Thursday before the race.