Vercingetorix was raised only one point by the handicappers to a merit rating of 108 for his short-head victory in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 at Greyville on Saturday. This means that, as it stands, he will carry 55,5kg in the Vodacom Durban July, writes Gold Circle’s DAVID THISELTON.
Capetown Noir, who finished 0,15 lengths back in third on Saturday, was dropped three points to 107, while the short-head runner up No Worries and the 0,25 length fourth-placed Wylie Hall were also given marks of 107. The fifth-placed Rock Cocktail, who finished a length back, was merit rated 105.
The merit ratings of the rest of the field were left alone as per the new rule that there can only be an upward adjustment to the first five finishers in a Grade 1 or Grade 2 event.
Handicapper Matthew Lipps, commenting on Capetown Noir’s merit rating drop, said, “You can’t ignore the fact that Capetown Noir keeps on being beaten by Vercingetorix at level weights.”
The fact that No Worries and Wylie Hall were merit rated only 97 and 98 respectively threw a spanner in the works and must have led to the handicappers taking a lenient view on both Vercingetorix and Capetown Noir.
Pomodoro, off 113, is the top merit rated horse among the July entries and as an older horse will be allotted the maximum 60kg.
Vercingetorix will receive 2,5kg from him for the merit rating difference plus a 2kg weight for age allowance. No Worries and Wylie Hall will therefore carry 55kg as it stands.
No Worries was supplemented for the July yesterday and it will be interesting to see whether Rock Cocktail follows suit.
Meanwhile, Anthony Delpech spoke highly of Vercingetorix.
He said, “He is never going to be a horse that will win by far. He quickened so well on Saturday and then loafed in the front. I will have to wait for longer next time, but he is a horse that will always go and fetch any horse that is in front of him.”
Delpech had no doubt that the ever improving Silvano colt would get the July 2 200m trip.