Jack Milner: Those who were brave enough to take the 40-1 on offer about Sparkling Water in early betting for the Gauteng Summer Cup will be licking their lips after the filly’s gutsy win in Saturday’s Grade 3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m at Turffontein.
Although the race did not pan out as expected, jockey Kabelo Matsunyane was able to get her up on the line to touch off Golden Pheasant by a head with Astrix the same length back in third. Fourth place went to Flying Carpet.
The Mike de Kock-trained filly did not get out all that well from a wide draw and Matsunyane found himself further back than he had hoped as Running Brave set a decent enough pace.
Golden Pheasant and Muzi Yeni were second ahead of Astrix and Flying Carpet. Yeni went for home early in the straight and built up a decent lead with Astrix starting to close in. Sparkling Water, meanwhile, made her move towards the outside and slowly closed the gap.
Golden Pheasant looked as if he would hold them off, but Matsunyane’s perseverance got the 5-2 favourite up to earn himself the bragging rights over Yeni.
“The race didn’t go as I planned,” said Matsunyane. “When I spoke to Mr de Kock before the race, he said rather sit a length behind where you expect than force her early.
“I must admit the nerves did get to me a little and I lost my balance towards the finish but I’m just glad I could produce the result.”
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