Garth Puller still finds himself out in front in the KZN Trainer’s Championship approaching the mid-point of the season but he does not believe he will have the firepower to hang on to this lead or to hold on to his lofty position in the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge trainers’ table.
Puller has had 28 winners in KZN this season, six clear of second-placed Gavin van Zyl and eight clear of the joint third-placed trainers, Dennis Drier, Dennis Bosch and Dean Kannemeyer. Johan Janse van Vuuren and Gareth van Zyl are ten winners behind in joint sixth place.
Puller lies in second place in the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge trainers’ table, five points behind leader Paul Lafferty. The latter is on 485.5 points, Puller is on 480.5 points and they are followed by Alyson Wright on 414 points, Duncan Howells on 352.5 points and Gareth van Zyl on 341 points. The competition finishes at the end of February, so Puller and Lafferty still have eleven meetings to negotiate.
Puller is in fact the 2.86/1 favourite with Hollywoodbets to win the Challenge with Lafferty on 3.03/1 and Wright on 5/1.
However, Puller said, “Neither the Championship or the Challenge are foremost on my mind. I don’t want to be influenced into running horses for the sake of running them. My main aim is to keep the horses happy and fresh so I can keep them racing, or in other words keep them good enough to run often enough without hurting them. I started the season well and have been in front ever since. But this is a relatively weak time of the year and I don’t think I will have the firepower in the SA Champions Season. I have been told I am five points behind in the Challenge table but I might run out of horses as I have a lot of two-year-old unraced horses but not many older horses.”
Two of Puller’s best horses Brooklyn and Bay Tibbs will shortly be going in to quarantine on their long journey to join David Ferraris’ stable in Hong Kong.
By David Thiselton