THE expected R11-million (plus), Pick 6 Pool on July Day at Greyville is on everyone’s lips and here are comments from a number of the leading trainers with runners on the day, a good guide for your betting preparation.
Do some homework before you place your bets, there are many excellent opportunities to get the cash, but you have to come prepared. Read what the respective handlers have to say about their representatives on the big afternoon – whether you’ve made up your mind or not, chances are you may just stumble across an important form pointer that could make the difference between winning and losing!
Thanks to Gold Circle’s Media team for providing the information.
Justin Snaith continues to be happy with his Vodacom Durban July pair Legislate and In The Fast Lane and he has some other chances on the day too.
Jockey Richard Fourie didn’t hide his confidence when speaking to Cape Town-based racing journalist Michael Clower earlier this week about the chances of Legislate, who likely has the best turn of foot in the field and should easily get the trip.
Fourie declared himself to be about 90% fit on Tuesday this week at Clairwood, following his nasty fall off Jet Explorer in the Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, but that didn’t stop him from winning the Listed Winter Oaks over 2200m on the Snaith-trained Irish Myth on Saturday.
The hig-riding Team Snaith: Justin (left) and Jonathan with Richard Fourie (on Life In The Fast Lane).
Snaith was happy with Legislate’s draw of eleven.
He said, “In the July a good draw can become a bad draw very quickly. The Daily News was his second run after a rest and he will easily get the 2200m trip. You don’t need a stayer to win the July.
In The Fast Lane is meanwhile reminding everybody down at Clairwood of the feisty but brilliant former Mike Bass-trained Jet Master filly River Jetez.
Snaith had battled a bit with In The Fast Lane in her first couple of months at Clairwood as she had appeared to be homesick, but she is now thriving. He said about the dual Gr 1-winning three-year-old Jet Master filly, “She is extremely well and is kicking and biting and behaving like a two-year-old.”
He added, “I think 2200m is probably her maximum trip.”
In The Fast Lane is drawn superbly in three and Grant van Niekerk rides.
Snaith’s Readytogorightnow is the first reserve and he said he was doing “very well”.
The yard have the Captain Al filly Eros’s Girl in the Gr 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper over 1400m.
She won her first two starts in Cape Town over 1200m without coming off the bit, but Snaith admitted last week that he was having the same uphill battle with her at Clairwood that he initially had with In The Fast Lane.
He said that he would never make the same mistake of running a two-year-old from a wide draw over the Clairwood 1450m that he made when running her in the Listed Devon Air Stakes last time out. She found little extra in the straight after being brought around them to the front.
However he revealed that she had put up an “exceptional” gallop when he took her to Greyville recently.
She is drawn nine if the reserve runner comes out and has Bernard Fayd’Herbe up. Snaith gives her a winning chance provided she settles and has some luck in running.
Snaith also said last week that “a line could be drawn through” the last run of his Var colt Harry Lime, who finished unplaced from an unfavourable draw in the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville.
He said, “He is back to his best. For that last start he was over trained and his blood readings were all wrong. He will give a very good account of himself and will stay the trip on his coconut.”
Richard Fourie will ride Harry Lime from draw 10.
Snaith said this week that the second race over 1400m on the polytrack looked the right race for True Master despite a drop in trip as he faced weaker and had a good draw at last. His jockey Anton Marcus has been riding him in work.
Snaith said about his other runners on the day, “Diva’s Daughter (first race) likes the polytrack and the 1400m is perfect, so she will run a big race. Ottimo (Listed Thukela Handicap over 1600m) is in a good place, had a good prep run and has a good draw. He has a lot going for him and will have no excuses. Casual Var (10th over 1000m on the poly) is having his first run after a break, but usually runs well fresh. We took him to run on the poly and he enjoyed it. I am expecting a good run from November Rain in that race. He is working exceptionally well and the race being under the lights is the only concern. Widgit (KZN Yearling Sale Million) ran a flat race last time and is now doing well. It’s R1 million race on July day so we will have a go.”
Geoff Woodruff remained buoyant this week about his chances of landing the Vodacom Durban July where he has three runners, Louis The King, Rake’s Chestnut and Tellina.
Tellina arrived at Clairwood from the Highveld earlier this week and Woodruff said he had travelled well and was “nice and fresh”.
He said, “His last run can be ignored as he generally takes one run to come back.”
Tellina is way out at 40-1 on the Betting World boards, while the three-year-old pair Louis The King and Rake’s Chestnut are both in single figures.
Rake’s Chestnut gave the Triple Crown hero Louis The King a lead in the July gallops last week and they both strode out very well under their respective big race riders Anton Marcus and Kevin Shea.
Rake’ Chestnut (left) and Louis The King both looked fit and well at the July Day gallops last week.
It is not surprising that Louis The King has shortened into 4-1 favourite with Betting World since the gallop as he moved and quickened effortlessly. Rake’s Chestnut has meanwhile drifted out to 15/2. However, coming from behind gave Louis The King the advantage in terms of creating a better impression, so Rake’s Chestnut’s should certainly not be forgotten about.
Rake’s Chestnut finished just a short-head back in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 in just his fourth racecourse appearance and, despite being hampered at a crucial stage, beat Louis The King by 1,25 lengths.
However, Shea has no doubt that Louis The King will improve on that run as he was looking around and not concentrating fully in his first appearance at Greyville, while he had also been freshened up by Woodruff after his Triple Crown exploits with the July in mind.
Shea said on Tuesday last week, “I would like him to bring his Gauteng Guineas form. I was on a top horse that day (Forest Indigo) and he went past me like I was standing still.’’
Marcus and Woodruff discussed Rake’s Chestnut’s well-being that same day last week and commented on how his coat was improving. It looks likely that the Horse Chestnut gelding is going to peak at just the right time.
Woodruff describes Rake’s Chestnut as a “sensible horse”, so his relative lack of experience shouldn’t be a problem.
Louis The King, a colt by Black Minnaloushe, is one of the yard favourites not only due to his money-making success, but also due to his laid back and easy going nature. He appears to enjoy everything he does and has a perfect racing temperament.
Woodruff is thrilled with both of their draws, which will see Rake’s Chestnut come into draw three and Louis The King into draw eight.
This should allow them to find midfield positions without exerting too much energy early.
They both carry 55,5kg and will receive 0,5kg from Daily News winner Legislate.
Woodruff would have fancied his Gr 3 tabGold 2200 runner Master Sabina with 53kg if he had made it into the July and added last week that his work had “been outstanding.’’
This son of Jet Master’s form dipped when he was found to be haemo-concentrating, but he has bounced back to his best after gelding.
He was unplaced in the Gr 3 Cup Trial, which ruined his chances of qualifying for the July, but Woodruff put that down to him being “stuck three wide too far back.’’
He also had some traffic problems early in the straight. Woodruff added, “He had the fastest finish and made up six lengths, but the race was already over.’’
He runs Lockheed Jetstar in the Listed Thukela Handicap over 1600m and revealed that he had put in very good work at Clairwood on Tuesday. Marcus rides from draw three and he must have a fine chance considering he beat Rake’s Chestnut last time out over this trip at Turffontein, although the latter would have needed that outing, his first after gelding.
Woodruff said that the Woolavington 2000 trip had been too far for Arcetri Pink and that this tough filly, who has endured a gruelling campaign, was doing well. He said, “It’s a tough race and I think she only has a place shout up against the like of Beach Beauty and Hammie’s Hooker. Love Vivien is better than rated but is an optimistic entry to say the least.”
Charles Laird has a number of feature race opportunities on Vodacom Durban July day, but he made Waltzed Home in the eleventh, the Non-Black Type eThekwini Sprint over 1200m, his best runner at the meeting.
Dylan’s Promise only just missed out on selection for the Vodacom Durban July field and runs in the Gr 2 Gold Vase over 3000m instead.
Laird said, “It is not easy for a filly to carry 56,5kg in open company. I believe she will get the trip. Kevin (Shea) rode her this morning (Tuesday) and she worked very well.”
He runs Gr 1 Allan Robertson runner up Rich Girl in the Gr 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper over 1400m with Anton Marcus up from draw eight.
He said, “She showed last time the way she raced that she will stay the trip. You can’t really have a plan from that draw, but she is doing very, very well and came out of that last race without any problems.”
The hard-knocking maiden Nisa’s Machine represents the yard in the Gr 1 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m from draw six with Sean Cormack up and Laird said, “He is up against winners, but has strong form and I still think Anton went too early on him last time out, so he could place.”
Delaware Bay runs in the Listed Thukela over 1600m and Laird said, “He is very well and has won at the track, but I’m not sure that he’s in that league.”
Laird feels that both Resolution in the first and Waltzed Home in the eleventh would go well on the polytrack based on their good homework on the sand.
The Dean Kannemeyer yard are bullish about their chances of reaping Graded race rewards on Vodacom Durban July day where they have a small but powerful team of three runners, Capetown Noir, Hot Ticket and Afrikaburn.
The four-year-old Western Winter colt Capetown Noir has his second crack at the July and will be wearing first time blinkers.
He had the headgear on when putting in impressive work under big race jockey Karl Neisius at the July gallops last Thursday and Kannemeyer’s assistant trainer Albie Going said, “We are thrilled with his work and he seemed very relaxed at the gallops. He is a more mature horse this year so has a better chance of getting the distance and he was running on well last year anyway. With the turn of speed he’s got, he’s got a shout if he’s up there in the last 200m.”
Dean Kannemeyer (left) with assistant trainer Albie Going.
Capetown Noir has unfortunately drawn wide again and will come into barrier 12 in the 16 horse field if the reserve runners come out, which is similar to his draw of 15 in the 20 horse field last year.
The three-time Gr 1 winner has to carry second top-weight of 59kg off a merit rating of 112, as opposed to 55kg off a merit rating of 107 as a three-year-old last year.
He appeared a bit flat footed at the top of the straight in the slow run Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m last time out and has also taken a while to get going in his four previous outings at Greyville, so the blinkers make him a very interesting prospect indeed. This is especially in the light of his Gr 1 Investec Cape Derby win last year, where he showed an electric turn of foot and hit the front too soon, before plugging on bravely.
There is little doubt that Kannemeyer has the best stayer in the country in the form of the four-year-old Silvano gelding Hot Ticket, who will have to carry 60kg from draw nine with Neisius up in the Gr 2 Nokia Gold Vase over 3000m.
He won the Gr 2 Betting World Stakes over 2450m at Clairwood in facile fashion three weeks ago and his main mission will be the Gold Cup over 3200m in three weeks’ time.
However, Kannemeyer has described the strapping chestnut as “really tough”, so he is not asking him to do too much.
In fact Going said on Tuesday that Hot Ticket had still needed that last outing and would be better this time.
He said, “He is a classy stayer, the 3000m will suit him down to the ground and he is in with a very big shout.”
Afrikaburn by Trippi is unbeaten in two starts over 1400m and 1200m respectively and this colt is being tipped by a few pundits to win the Gr 1 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m.
He is drawn very well in four with Neisius up and Going said, “If he improves like he did from his first to his second start he must be in with a very big shout.”
Joey Ramsden said that Gr 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge winner King Of Pain was primed to run to his best in the Vodacom Durban July, but was philosophical about his chances.
He said, “He came out of the Gold Challenge exceptionally well and is in really good form, but whether he is good enough to carry top-weight is another matter. Before the Gold Challenge we thought that he might still need it as he had a foot abscess that took far longer to heal than we had hoped for. It looked, according to the log, that they didn’t want him in the July and we were running out of time, so we obviously did a better job than we thought we had done.”
The four-year-old Greys Inn gelding was given a fine tactical ride in the Gold Challenge by Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who took him to the front in a race that always looked to lack pace. He rallied when joined by the brilliant Beach Beauty before finding extra in impressive style to repel her and the high class Yorker. The win was no fluke as it was the second time that he had beaten both Beach Beauty and Capetown Noir in a weight for age mile.
The July also looks to lack pace, but Ramsden was not sure a repeat of the Gold Challenge tactics would be employed by Fayd’Herbe.
He said, “From his wide draw it is very hard for him to have a plan and it is also a tough ask for the horse to carry that weight. King Of Pain is actually a better horse coming from off the pace. In the Queen’s Plate he moved up and was taken out. He had a very good prep going into the Met, but didn’t travel well early and ended up too far out of his ground, so maybe I was guilty on the tactical side that time.”
He ran on well enough in the Met and Ramsden consequently put blinkers on in his next start in the Magnum Mile. This time he travelled well throughout and in a driving finish prevailed by a short-head over the useful Night Trip, despite giving him 7kg.
The blinkers were kept on for the Gold Challenge and they are on again for the July.
He is certainly a runner to be reckoned with as his Gold Challenge win was the sort of performance that both Ramsden and Fayd’Herbe had always believed him capable of and the July trip will be no problem, as he lost narrowly in the Winter Derby over 2400m last year when carrying 0,5kg overweight in soft ground.
Fayd’Herbe allowed the powerful grey to stand still on the back straight for a while at the July gallops last Thursday and survey the course and thereafter he enjoyed his workout. He was also striding out very nicely on the sand at Clairwood on Tuesday.
King Of Pain will come into draw eleven if the reserves come out and with 60kg on his back will have to go one step better than last year’s winner, Heavy Metal, who carried 59,5kg.
Ramsden said of the dangers, “Futura has a good draw, good jockey and good trainer and has a lot in his favour receiving weight from the other three-year-olds.”
Ramsden implied that the shock defeat of Futura in the Cup Trial last time out would be a good learning curve in the horse’s career as the difficulty of facing tough older handicappers with an inexperienced horse running in his first feature could never be underestimated.
Ramsden runs the interestingly bred grey filly Grey Light in the Gr 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper over 1400m. She is by the sort after sire Tapit, who stands on the USA stud farm Gainesway, which is owned by the family of the late Graham Beck. Grey Light was bred to Southern Hemisphere times and consigned by Highland Farm Stud at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
Grey Light won in good style first time out on the Greyville polytrack and looks to be a strongly made individual. Ramsden said, “We don’t know a lot about her after just one run and are chucking her in at the deep end. We will know more after Saturday.”
He gives the widely drawn Disco Al a chance in the Gr 3 tabGold 2200 and said, “From a nice draw I would have liked him a lot as his recent form lines are good.”
Sean Tarry believes his former Vodacom Durban July winner Pomodoro was treated with disrespect by the Vodacom Durban July selection panel and warned that the field had “better watch out” in the unlikely event that he got in as second reserve.
Tarry has two other runners, Whiteline Fever and Halve The Deficit, with which he and his chief owner Chris van Niekerk will attempt to make history by winning the big race together for the third year in succession.
He said about Whiteline Fever, who has enjoyed a good preparation out of Clairwood and is in good shape, “He was behind all of them in the slow run Gold Challenge and finished just as well as them.”
Halve The Deficit is being prepared on the Highveld and will travel down on Friday.
Tarry said, “He is doing very well.”
According to the forecast there could be rain on July day and Tarry said that both horses would love it.
Halve The Deficit is ridden by Piere Strydom from draw eight and Whiteline Fever will have S’Manga Khumalo on from draw six. Strydom won the July for Tarry in 2012 and Khumalo won it for him last year.
Tarry said about the 2012 July winner Pomodoro, “He is flying.”
One of Tarry’s chief gripes was that in his opinion the field should be chosen on Gr 1 form, of which Pomodoro has plenty in his career, and yet the horse had been dropped from position nine on the July log to 18 on the basis of a Pinnacle Plate preparation run. He had then been struck in the eye by a clod in the Gold Challenge, but this was not considered by the panel, despite the evidence of a completely closed eye the next day being available to them. Consequently, horses that had finished behind one of Tarry’s handicapping battlers Serissa in the Cup Trial got into the big race ahead of his yard champion. He also pointed out that Tellina had not been dropped out of the July log when running well below par in a preparation outing.
Tarry holds his Gr 1-winning filly Carry On Alice in very high regard and has said often this season that she is by far the best two-year-old in his yard. She will have an outstanding chance of winning the Gr 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper over 1400m. He added, “She is looking for this trip.” She is drawn ten and S’Manga Khumalo retains the ride.
Tarry runs Captain Clipper in the Gr1 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m, the distance of his last win. This horse is also coming down on Friday and is doing “very well”.
Serissa runs in the Gr 3 tabGold 2200 from the widest draw of 15 and Tarry said, “According to the July panellists he should win easily, as he beat horses that qualified ahead of a July winner.”
Tarry also has Gold Onyx in the tabGold 2200. This horse loves Greyville and he said, “He is very well and I was disappointed when his running was taken up by the winner One Cool Dude in the Cup Trial, as I think he could have run third and that would have thrown the cat among the pigeons.”
Tarry runs Lock Him Up in the Non-Black Type KZN Yearling Sale Million over 1300m and said, “The draw hasn’t played into his hands, but he is doing well.”
He felt that Money Doesn’t Count would go well on the polytrack in the first race.=
He said about She’s A Stunner, who runs on the poly in the tenth over 1000m, “She ran a very good race over 1200m last time on the poly (set the pace and tired late), and she is well weighted (although she does have a wide draw to overcome.)”
There are some who are pointing at Bezanova’s run in the KZN Breeder’s Million Mile as a detractor to the chances of the three-year-olds in the Vodacom Durban July, but trainer Alec Laird did not believe that the Bezrin gelding ran to his best.
Bezanova was the best in at the weights in the race, where he carried only 52,5kg and was beaten 5,5 lengths by the four-year-old No Worries, who carried 54kg, and 2,25 lengths by the five-year-old Distinguished who carried 60kg.
Laird said, “He had a closed eye this morning, so being hit by a clod didn’t help and he was left a bit flat footed, so might have preferred it to be a bit further at this stage of the season, not being fresh. His usual kick wasn’t there, so it is clear that he didn’t run his race. Furthermore, up in Jo’burg he thrashed Silva Hawk (by six lengths in the Gr 1 SA Classic over 1800m) and that one got within a quarter of a length of him on Sunday.”
The July always stimulates a debate between the strength of the three-year-olds versus the older horses and in recent years, even when coming off second best in the pre-race argument, the three-year-olds have tended to have the upper hand.
The current crop of three-year-olds has been viewed as a strong one from a long way out and it is not surprising to see them dominating the betting. All four of the horses quoted in single figure odds are three-year-olds.
Bezanova finished three lengths behind July favourite Legislate in the Gr 2 KRA Guineas and just 1,65 lengths back in the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 behind the same horse. However, other than his race on Sunday, there is not much other collateral form to go on as the only three-year-old male July runner who has run against older horses, Futura, has not yet faced his own age group in a feature race, while nothing went right in the running for dual classic winner In The Fast Lane when she was unplaced against older horses in the Gr 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes over 1600m at Kenilworth on J&B Met day. However, Everest, who finished four lengths back in the Daily News 2000, did win the Noble Tune KZN Breeders 1900 comfortably on Sunday at Clairwood against older horses, despite carrying 58kg.
Tony Rivalland runs the promising three-year-old Diamond King in the Non-Black Type Ethekwini Sprint over 1200m on the polytrack on Vodacom Durban July day.
The yard’s assistant trainer Terry Fripp said about the good looking New Zealand-bred More Than Ready colt, who has won twice over this trip and is drawn seven out of nine in his first appearance on the polytrack, “Anton Marcus didn’t hesitate when offered the ride, which is a good sign considering he has eleven rides on the day. If he runs to his best he has a chance.”
The yard also run the five-year-old Australian-bred Stratum gelding Commodity Strike in the second over 1400m on the polytrack, where he is drawn eight with Stuart Randolph up. This gallant horse has won three out of his last five from 1200-1450m and Fripp said, “He is very well and we have worked him plenty on the poly track at Summerveld. The surface will suit his aches and pains and although it’s a competitive event he will be in the cheques.”
Highveld trainer Joey Soma has another tilt at big race glory with his Gr 1 SA Fillies Classic winner Athina, who runs in Saturday’s Gr 1 Woolavington 2000 at Greyville.
The athletic Fort Wood filly is being looked after at Summerveld by Soma’s nephew Gabby Soma.
Gabby said, “She’s sound, her work has been very good and we expect a very good race. The only concern is her wide draw.”
Athina finished unplaced in the KRA Fillies Guineas last time out, but a line can virtually be drawn through that run as she turned for home way out of her ground.
Gabby confirmed, “Everything that could have gone went wrong in that race. She was bumped, boxed in and was still easing when they came into the straight.”
Athina didn’t get a clear run down the straight either, so to have been beaten by only 4,65 lengths was a good effort.
Gabby has no concern about her staying the trip and said, “The SA Fillies Classic (1800m) was run at a fast pace and she still managed to come from far back to win. There is no reason why she shouldn’t stay.”
Kevin Shea keeps the ride.
Brett Crawford was happy with the Greyville workouts of his Vodacom Durban July contenders Captain America and Futura last Thursday and the three-year-old pair certainly impressed the morning crowd with their strong gallops under big race riders Sean Cormack and Glen Hatt respectively.
The visiting Cape yard also have other runners with chances on the day.
Crawford said, “If Captain America settles there is no doubt he will stay the trip. Sean Cormack has a very good pair of hands and we are also putting a new bridle on the horse, a drop nose band bridle. I think Futura is looking for this trip. He has a lot in his favour, such as a good draw and a lovely galloping weight. The biggest thing though is the pace, as there doesn’t appear to be any obvious frontrunners in the race. King Of Pain went to the front last time and won but this time he has 60kg to shoulder and is giving weight to the field, so that will make it tougher.”
Futura will come into barrier two if all of the reserve runners come out, while Captain America will come into draw nine.
Hatt chose the relatively unexposed Futura above Captain America.That was some statement in itself as Captain America has already proved his class by running second in the both the Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas and the Investec Cape Derby over 2000m, third in the Gr2 KRA Guineas and a 1,4 length fourth in the Gr1 Daily News 2000.
Captain America, a huge colt by Captain Al, will now receive 2kg from the Daily News winner Legislate, which puts him right in the picture. He should have come on from that run too. He is certainly looking lean and mean and has a nice shiny coat.
Futura’s final gallop.
Futura is also looking very well. He appeared to not quite produce the turn of foot that he is capable of when third in the Gr3 Cup Trial over 1800m at Clairwood last time out, but a review of the race provides an explanation. It was a slow run race and he was a little strong early.
Nevertheless, he appeared to have a ton in hand under hands and heels in the straight, but was simply outpaced as it had turned into a sprint for home. He was doing his best work late, suggesting he will relish the July trip. Hatt did not lose any faith in him after that race. He will be receiving 3kg from Legislate, 2,5kg from both Louis The King and Rake’s Chestnut and 1kg from Captain America.
Crawford runs Maybe Yes over the same course and distance of her Gr 2 KRA Fillies Guineas win in the Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes. He said, “It’s a tough race, but she’s a good filly. She has a few lengths to find with Hammie’s Hooker and no doubt with Beach beauty too, but rest assured she will be running on. Hopefully Beach Beauty will have an off day, but she doesn’t seem to have many of those days.”
The yard also run Dancing Dynasty in the Garden Province, where she will be ridden by Kevin Shea, and Crawford said, “She’s only had three runs for us (for three wins) and has gone up twenty pounds, so this is a step up in class, but she can’t be faulted and will also be running on.”
Hatt is happy to be aboard Maybe Yes, but also thinks a lot of Dancing Dynasty and said about the latter, “Don’t be surprised if she finishes right on top of them.”
The yard run Sail South in the Listed Thukela Handicap over 1600m where he is 1kg under sufferance on official merit ratings. Hatt said, “If we could get him to settle, he could be a good horse.” He won last time out over 1400m at Scottsville, despite pulling. He has won over 1600m before and a good draw will give Hatt a chance of finding the cover that he needs.
They run Wavin’ Flag in the Gr 2 Gold Vase over 3000m and interestingly have removed the blinkers. Crawford said, “We put the blinkers on because he always used to be stone last in the running in Cape Town, but he has shown a lot more speed on the lighter tracks here in Durban. He will stay every yard of the trip and is already graded placed. He has only been beaten about two lengths or less in his two starts in KZN and we want him to run well again so that he is showing good form going into the Gold Cup.”
Hatt added, “I just want him to win now, instead of running all these places.”
IN-form Ashburton trainer Duncan Howells has a big team on Vodacom Durban July day and said that all of them had enjoyed good preparations.
He has the Judpot filly Just Lucky and the Black Minnaloushe filly Littleblacknumber in the Gr 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper over 1 400m where they have drawn wide in 14 and 17 and will be ridden by stable jockey Kevin Shea and Gavin Lerena respectively.
Howells said, “Just Lucky is a very good filly, but this is his maybe a bit sharp for her . The Thekwini is probably her main goal. Littleblacknumber hasn’t got a great draw but the extra distance will suit and she could run into the money.’’
He has the Right Approach colt Easy Lover in the Gr 1 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1 400m, where he is drawn eleven and will be ridden by Kevin Shea. He said, “He is quite precocious and is doing very well. The step up to this trip suited him well last time and if he can reproduce that last run he can run into the first three.”
Duncan Howells with Knight To Remember.
In the first race over 1 400m on the polytrack he has Cup Of Rubies from draw 6 with Muzi Yeni up and said, “I think she will be suited to the polytrack and I’m expecting a good run.’’
In the second race over 1 400m on the polytrack he has Tuscan and said, “He put up a very good gallop in the polytrack trials. He is drawn quite wide but is very well in himself and if reproducing that gallop on the polytrack he will have a first three chance’’
Howells runs the twice Gold Cup-placed Knight To Remember in the Gr 3 tabGold 2200 over 2 200m and said, “He ran a good race last year on July day when they reduced the Gold Vase to 2 400m. He is not quite at full fitness yet and this is more a preparation for the Gold Cup, but looking at the quality of the field he could run into the first four.’’
He runs Gr 3 Cup Trial winner One Cool Dude in the Listed Thukela Handicap over 1 600m and isn’t concerned about the step down in trip. “I pulled him out of the July because I felt the 2 200m could be too far. He is coming through his preparations well and is drawn well so can run in the first three, but you have to respect the lighter weights in this race.’’
He runs Louvre in the Gr 1 Garden Province Stakes and said, “She is probably near retirement and has lost her form a bit, but I’m hoping she can run into the money.’’
He has Zestful in the tenth over 1 000m on the polytrack and Guantanamera is the first reserve here. He said, “Zestful went such a quick pace last time over 1 600m and he’s sprinted well before so we’re experimenting here although I would have preferred it if it was 1 200m. Guantanamera has given the impression that he has been loafing so we’re trying him in blinkers. I have always thought he is better over 1 200m, but the blinkers could sharpen him up and if they go quick he can sit just off them.’’
He has Same Jurisdiction in the Non Black Type KZN Yearling Million over 1 300m and Eltons Apostle is the first reserve.
He said, “Same Jurisdiction won well last time and is well above average. We haven’t had time to take her to see Greyville so it depends on how green she is, but if she runs to her best she can be in the first three. Eltons Apostle is a progressive horse and I still think it’s a bit short for him, but for a million stake we will take our chances.’’