Anger will attempt to become only the second horse to win the August Stakes-Emerald Cup double when Africa’s richest race on sand is run at the Vaal on Saturday next week but has drawn wide.

anger winning the grade 3 august stakes and entry into emerald cup

Originally drawn at No 23 of the 26 entries, he has come in to No 20 and even if the five at the bottom of the weights are pulled out, he will still start in the second-widest stall, a tough ask.

The Brazilian-bred four-year-old colt, who will carry a handy 54kg, did win the Grade 3 August Stakes over 1200m well to book an automatic berth in the R1-million Emerald Cup (Grade 2) over 1450m next week. It was his fifth win in a row and qualified him for a berth in the big race.

His trainer Corne Spies told reporters: “We grabbed the automatic spot with both hands and were then just hoping for a good draw. Unfortunately he has drawn right out in the sticks but we’re in it for nothing, so might as well take our chances.”

The Emerald Cup will be Anger’s first run over further than 1200m and Spies commented: “He is extremely fast but in conformation is built more like a ‘miler’.

“He went very hard in the beginning of the August Stakes but still managed to rally back in the finish. On that race it is very possible he will get the extra 250m of the Emerald Cup.”

Anger was bought from the foyer of the hotel-casino that sponsors the race. Spies recalled: “I flew out to Brazil to have a look at him and after landing at Sao Paulo, had to catch another aeroplane right down to the south where I rented a car. From there it was still a six-hour drive to the thoroughbred breeding region – I arrived at 3am and slept for a couple of hours before going to the stud farm to see him. I liked what I saw.”

“Then, I forgot to put petrol in the car before I left, so ran out of fuel on the way back and missed my flight!

“The sale was a week later and Fito Englezakis and I whiled away the time through the night at the Emerald Casino until Anger finally came into the sales ring. We bought him over the telephone in the foyer of the hotel at 4am.”

Many will believe that Anger is an odd name for a racehorse – he was named on the farm, Stud TNT.

“He is a very temperamental horse and has given us a really hard time,” said Spies, quipping. “I think he has contributed to my bald patch! I don’t know whether the removal of the testicle was the reason for his turnaround in form – he may have had other issues as well – but he is becoming more sensible now.”

This well-bred Elusive Quality colt’s career has been far from plain sailing and there was no guarantee he would ever recoup his purchase price and shipping costs. He “won like a superstar” first time out but then had Spies and his team scratching their heads as he only managed one place in his next seven starts – finishing second to subsequent Grade 1 winner Contador.

Evidence suggested he was pulling one testicle up during his races, so it was removed, but even then, he ran another two bad races.

However, he suddenly turned the corner and has reeled off five wins in a row, three at Flamingo Park. That August Stakes win showed he is competitive in stronger company.

Spies said he had avoided running Anger on the grass in the winter because of the hard conditions, adding that putting him back on the turf would be “interesting”. However, if he passes that test in months to come, he could target some of the big races this season.

The only horse who won both the August Stakes and the Emerald Cup to date was The Mouseketeer in 2011.