VODACOM Durban July Day 2012 has arrived and here are Mike’s updated runner comments for the day.
“What is against Jackson and my filly Ilha Bela (Vodacom Durban July) is the draw, especially because the false rail will be set 13 metres out for the first six races and then cut back to seven metres for the rest of the meeting. Horses with inside draws will race on fresh ground in the July, which effectively gives them a double advantage over the horses drawn badly.
“Ilha Bela has had an unbelievable preparation and I couldn’t be happier. She wasn’t 100% in the Woolavington and it wasn’t her fault that the riders of the horses nearest to the pace allowed Viva Maria to get too far ahead in that race. But obviously she is going to need luck from No 18 draw.
“The July distance is too short for Gorongosa, and the Gold Cup is her main mission. But, that said, she knows how to win and has a culture of winning. Horses like that are always dangerous, even when they are rising in class, because they know how to win and want to win.
“Vettel has a good draw and stays well. But 2200m is not his best distance and I doubt if the weight turnaround with Jackson will be enough for him to reverse the Daily News 2000 form. Solo Traveller must be a factor on his run in the Greyville 1900. He wasn’t himself in his last run, which has to be ignored.
“Dubai Dizzy (Race 2) is bred to stay this trip and he looks a decent sort. Kindle has already won over 1800m so we know he will see it out. Captain’s Wild (Schweppes 2200) is very fit. He has a good draw this time and I’m happy with my jockey (Karis Teetan); he’s very hungry. Galileo’s Destiny is scratched. If Silent Partner can quicken over this distance as he did over 1600m last time, he will be a big runner.
“Ilsanpietro (Gold Vase) is being aimed at the Gold Cup and could still need this run.
“Rumya (Golden Slipper) beat a weak field of older maidens last time but she looks useful. She will need further. Tayba found herself in front last time and got caught. She has a lot of ability and should run well.
“I put Honorine (Golden Horseshoe) in the Golden Slipper but she drew very wide. Here she also has to jump from draw No 11 but she is very fast. The question with her is whether she will see out 1400m.
“Paradise Square (Race 9) has some ability and also has a good draw. She tends to run around in the closing stages so I put a set of blinkers on her and I hope that will help.
“Hard Rock (Race 11) is better than his form suggests. He has been gelded and that seems to have improved him. He has a poor draw here (No 11) but I think we will win a few races with him.