A furore that has been brewing over the Vodacom Durban July weights looks likely to be decided on the interpretation of terminology within the conditions of the country’s premier race.
This set of weights was put on to the sahorseracing.co.za website at about lunchtime on Tuesday 10 June.
However, Gold Circle and the NHA will claim that these weights were not “issued for publication”. In other words, they were not sent out via a press release and officially released into the public domain.
Yorker, who is four merit-rated points higher and was set 2kg more than the second highest weight-bearer King Of Pain, was scratched at 1.42pm. The NHA then rehandicapped the race with King Of Pain as top weight.
The latter set of weights was issued for publication at 2.50pm on Tuesday 10 June, via means of a press release sent out by Gold Circle’s Public Relations Officer Gill Simpkins. However, there are some who are claiming that because the initial set of weights were available for viewing on the sahorseracing.co.za website, point five of the conditions of the July should have been adhered to.
Point five states that “the handicapper will raise all weights proportionately to 60kg should the top weight originally allotted be less than 60kg at final declaration”.
The rules then state the weights will be published on Tuesday 10 June (no time) and final declarations close at 11am on Monday 23 June.
If the complainants are correct, the NHA would not have been entitled to rehandicap the race and the three-year-olds Captain America and Futura would have instead been dragged up 2kg to 55kg.
Their weights relative to the three most prominent three-year-olds in the race would have then remained the same, as they would have had to carry 1kg less than the race favourite Legislate and 0.5kg less than strongly fancied pair Louis The King and Rake’s Chestnut .
Instead, after rehandicapping, Captain America only went up by 1kg to 54kg and Futura remained on 53kg, while Legislate, Louis The King and Rake’s Chestnut all went up by 2kg.
This means that Captain America and Futura will receive 2kg and 3kg respectively from Legislate and 1.5kg and 2.5kg respectively from Louis The King and Rake’s Chestnut, a significant difference to the relative weights when Yorker was still in the field.
Futura is still borderline to make the final field while Master Sabina and both remained on 53kg respectively. – Gold Circle.