A typically high quality field of 18 was declared on Tuesday for the vintage 125th renewal of the R2 million Gr1 Vodacom Durban July, to be run behind closed doors at Greyville on Saturday, 3 July.
With no surprises in the final field of 18 plus 2 reserve runners, the tension will now build into the big race in ten day’s time, with the official public gallops scheduled for 07h00 at Greyville on Thursday.
Justin Snaith goes for his fourth consecutive Vodacom Durban July success armed with a four horse attack, with solid back-up from first reserve runner Silver Host, a good winner of Saturday’s Gr3 Track & Ball Derby.
And the debate over what would be Richard Fourie’s choice in the Snaith arsenal has been answered, with the West Coaster, going for a personal July hat-trick, engaged on dual winner Do It Again, who ran third behind Belgarion in this race last year.
The son of Twice Over has been sparingly campaigned this term, but broke a class record at the course in May, and comes in as one of two 6yo’s with the red-hot Rainbow Bridge.
S’manga Khumalo won the July in 2013 on Heavy Metal for Sean Tarry, and partners defending champion Belgarion.
Only Justin Snaith, Sean Tarry and Candice Bass-Robinson have tasted past success, with the balance of ten trainers looking for their first July trophy.
One man who will be keen to bury a memory is Tyrone Zackey, who will hope that Johnny hero can atone for Smanjemanje’s whisker defeat in 2012.
The provincial representation is highlighted by a trio from the home province, where Tony Rivalland, Alyson Wright and Gareth van Zyl will bid to hold off nine Cape flagbearers, and a sextet from Gauteng, headed by Joey Soma’s bomb, Got The Greenlight.
Vaughan Marshall has a double handed 3yo attack and the veteran must fancy his chances of winning his first July with top-class Linebacker and the dark horse, Rascallion.
There are only two fairer sex gallopers in the field, with rising star Gareth van Zyl and veteran Rob Knuppe looking to realise a lifetime dream with the lightly tried 4yo, She’s A Keeper.
Fanie Bronkhorst has his first July runner with the course specialist Brave Tin Soldier mare Running Brave who will be looking to put in another big-hearted performance.
R2 000 000 2200m 15:00
1st R1250000, 2nd R400000, 3rd R200000, 4th R100000, 5th R50000
VODACOM DURBAN JULY (Grade 1)
Open to all Horses
No Apprentice Allowance
|1||Rainbow Bridge||60||134||L Ferraris||Eric Sands|
|2||Johnny Hero||53||106||K Matsunyane||T Zackey|
|3||Shah Akbar||53||119||C Habib||S Tarry|
|4||ExpressFromTheUS||54||122||M v Rensburg||S Pettigrew|
|5||Crown Towers (AUS)||53||117||L Mxothwa||J Snaith|
|6||Rascallion||53||123||S Veale||V Marshall|
|7||Linebacker||53||124||G v Niekerk||V Marshall|
|8||Sovereign Spirit||54||122||K de Melo||C Bass Robinson|
|9||Cirillo||53||120||L Hewiston||S Tarry|
|10||She’s A Keeper||52||96||W Kennedy||G van Zyl|
|11||Belagarion||58||130||S Khumalo||J Snaith|
|12||Nexus||53||117||C Zackey||J Snaith|
|13||Running Brave||52.5||119||TBC||F Bronkhorst|
|14||Got the greenlight||55||124||M Yeni||J Soma|
|15||Matterhorn||53||101||S Moodley||A Wright|
|16||Do it Again||57.5||129||R Fourie||J Snaith|
|17||Tristful||53||113||C Murray||T Rivalland|
|18||Kommetdieding||53||122||G Lerena||HWK Crawfrd/ M Rix|
|19||Silver Host||53||110||Reserve 1||J Snaith|
|20||Shango||53||111||Reserve 1||S Tarry|