Cape Town – The Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Argentinian-bred five-year-old gelding Puerto Manzano held on gamely to triumph in Joburg’s biggest horse race, the R2.5-million Betway Grade One Summer Cup at Turffontein on Saturday.
Leading jockey Keagan de Melo timed the winning effort to perfection over the testing 2 000m course. Before the race, there was some doubt that Puerto Manzano could mount a victorious challenge over the distance.
Puerto Manzano pipped Safe Passage to the post while the minor placings went to Aragosta and Divine Odyssey. Puerto Manzano became the second Argentinian-bred horse this century, after Eventuail in 2002, to win the Summer Cup. It was also a career first Grade One success for jockey De Melo.
Hundreds of punters flocked to the vibrant Turffontein Racecourse in droves and apart from the horseracing, were treated to some of the city’s top lifestyle and fashion attractions. Racegoers heeded the theme with fashion that was a glittering sight and embraced the Golden Summer theme on an entertaining race day hosted by the racing operator, 4Racing.
Award-winning songstress Lady Zamar took the half-time show by storm, performing her famous hits, ‘Citizen’ and ‘Love Is Blind’, getting racegoers excited for the main race of the day.
The only race day to feature a half-time show, taking inspiration from the NFL Superbowl, the show also featured a colourful blend of performers including a delightful display from drum majorettes, cheerleaders, and a spectacular fashion show by the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy.
“We are thrilled to have hosted a successful 2022 Betway Summer Cup, together with our sponsors and partners that made Johannesburg’s biggest horse racing experience come to life. This was truly the people’s race, with thousands of people enjoying a beautiful sunny day, excellent entertainment and thrilling races,” said Fundi Sithebe, CEO of 4Racing.
The Honourable Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse was at the event, and also in attendance was Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management Tasneem Motara, while The Wife actress, Mbalenhle Mavimbela had a soft-launch of her new wine brand Moments, with Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director Jessica Motaung and Carte Blanche’s Claire Mawisa also among Johannesburg’s A-list celebrities in attendance.
The famous garden-themed Golden Summer marquee was a floral affair, hosting the majority of racegoers with a premium view of the finish line. DJ, media personality and businesswoman, DJ Zinhle lit up the celebrity-filled dance floor, along with Amapiano star Boohle, at the luxurious Voguish Marquee with an electrifying performance.