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MIKE de Kock says that Heavenly Blue is still being aimed at the 2017 Vodacom Durban July, despite his SA Derby conqueror Al Sahem having replaced him in third on the ante-post betting boards behind Marinaresco and Elusive Silva.

Heavenly Blue.

Heavenly Blue.

“Being by speed sire Snitzel I had a concern that Heavenly Blue wouldn’t quite see out the tough 2450m of the Derby and that is what happened. He was found wanting over the last 200m. He ran a big race nonetheless and the 2200m at Greyville is vastly different to the Derby distance at Turffontein.  He will have a solid chance of reversing form with Al Sahem.”

Mike reported back on a few other Champions Day runners, saying:

“Fish River and Silver Thursday both finished about eight lengths off Green Plains in the Fillies Nursery, which tells me that they may have run more or less to form with no excuses, though Silver Thursday needs further to show her best.”

“Orchid Island moved up nicely and then ran out of steam late in the Oaks. She’s a small filly, had a tough task and just didn’t see out the full trip. Belle Rose returned a little sore.”

“Al Hawraa ran wide in the Gerald Rosenberg, couldn’t get cover. She is better than that and can be watched.”

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