Liege is Summer Cup Champ
Liege, long an “almost” big-race horse, dispensed with that unwanted tag by dashing to victory in the 2017 Sansui Summer Cup at Turffontein on Sunday.
Ridden by Raymond Danielson, the son of Dynasty started at 16-1.
In second place, 2.25 lengths back was filly Fort Ember (36-1), who ran the race of her life and at one stage looked a likely winner. Third and fourth spots were filled by Coral Fever (36-1) and Pagoda (5-1 favourite), both of whom rallied strongly from way back in the 19-horse field.
Champion trainer Sean Tarry has also had a patchy run of form lately, but showed he hasn’t lost his magic touch by getting the gelded son of Dynasty back to his very best to scoop up another Grade 1 trophy for prolific owners Chris van Niekerk and Markus Jooste.
“If you can’t be good all the time, be good at the right time,” quipped Tarry when reminded of his lean season – by his own high standards – of late.
Liege was fourth in last year’s Summer Cup and has only had three races since then, having been gelded in the interim. The unkindest snip can sometimes prove a world of difference for a talented under-achiever, and surely has in this case.
Tarry, who saddled four runners for the R2-million “People’s Race” said afterwards he had a lot of confidence in Liege ahead of the contest. However, he’d also been confident before the recent Victory Moon Stakes, in which Liege disappointed. But that might have been a flat performance as it was his second outing after a rest.