Paul Peter nervous ahead of Summer Pudding Triple Tiara bid
Paul Peter's Silvano filly Summer Pudding will attempt at Turffontein to become only the third horse to land the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara and she has a strong connection to the last filly to complete this arduous feat.
Summer Pudding is out of Cherry On The Cake, who is a half-sister to the dam of the 2013 Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top.
The latter was trained by the legendary Ormond Ferraris, who is now a valuable member of the Paul Peter team as an advisor.
Ferraris has been at track everyday in the build up to this race so the filly has a fine chance of arriving tomorrow in peak condition.
Ferraris was in fact the original trainer of Summer Pudding but upon his retirement last year she was sent by her owners and breeders, Mary Slack and
Jessica Jell of Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Stud, to Paul Peter's yard.
Peter has idolised Ferraris since the days he sneaked on to his local Turffontein racecourse as a racing-mad schoolboy, but despite the reassurance of having such a wealth of experience and expertise beside him he was a bundle of nerves this afternoon.
"I have no more finger nails left," he chortled. He added, "There is always that worry when they come back from rests whether you have done enough or whether you have done too much. But she is very well."
She had just returned from a mid-afternoon walk and Peter reported her to be "fresh and alert."
She will be without her regular pilot, the national champion jockey elect Warren Kennedy, and she is drawn out wide too.
However, Peter is not overly concerned.
He said, "Gavin Lerena is aboard and is a champion at overcoming draws."
Lerena, a former national champion jockey and a fine horseman, has been riding her work in the build up.
Summer Pudding has a perfect racing temperament, being a relaxed type with a good turn of foot and plenty of courage.
Peter said at the beginning of her Triple Tiara bid that the first leg, the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Guineas, would be her hardest leg as it was on the sharp side for her.
The further she goes the better so she is expected to add tomorrow's Oaks to her cosy win in the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Classic over 1800m.
Her main dangers will be the classy Victoria Paige, who had to be scratched from the SA Fillies Classic when expected to go close, and Marygold, who ran on strongly for second in the SA Fillies Classic. Victoria Paige has a stamina doubt. whilst Marygold is by the stamina influence Flower Alley.
The strange part of tomorrow's race will be no crowds, but there are sure to be many screaming Summer Pudding home in their living rooms.
Peter is also quietly confident with his SA Derby runner Western Fort, whom he said had improved a lot with the application of blinkers as they had helped him focus.
He also labelled his classy filly Vistula a "massive runner" in the sixth race.