GOLD Circle will be looking into possibly reducing the width of the spur for next year’s Vodacom Durban July in order to encourage the runners to spread themselves out over the entire width of the track.
Graeme Hawkins, Gold Circle’s Racing and Marketing executive, felt that a 2m spur would probably serve the race best and discussions in this regard will shortly be taking place.
In this year’s July the horses appeared to be thrown outward by the 4m wide spur and did not make use of the inside section of the track.
There were consequently traffic problems towards the outside, although the shifting outward by the winner Power King did not help matters and appeared to be the cause of quite a few hard luck stories. Winning jockey Stuart Randolph consequently landed a two week suspension.
There is also an inquiry into third-placed jockey Johnny Geroudis’ weighing-in in excess of 1kg. On paper it appears that his mount Tellina, who finished 1,25 lengths back, would have won the July if carrying the correct weight and this is supported by the handicappers awarding him a four point merit rated raise from 108 to 112, while the winner Power King only went up three points from 106 to 109, while second-placed Punta Arenas went up two points from 109 to 111.
Meanwhile, the spur for the Gr 1 eLan Property Group Gold Cup over 3200m on Super Saturday, July 25, originally intended to be set at 6m, will also be subject of discussion by Gold Circle.
It might be reduced in width, although the size of the field will have an influence on the decision. The final field for the Gold Cup was announced at a function at 17h30 on Tuesday and the barrier positions were also drawn.
The spur for the Gr 1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m on Saturday is due to be set at a minimum of 3m.