NORMALLY going into the week of the Vodacom Durban July racing websites and other media are abuzz with talk that the three-year-olds are rated too highly by the official handicappers and cannot win.
This usually turns out to be complete claptrap, since a member of that age group has won five of the last eight runnings of the great race, although the most recent two victors were aged four, namely The Conglomerate and Power King.
This year the situation has been turned on its head as prominent racing personalities such as Derek Brugman and Justin Vermaak are adamant that the top sophomores are undervalued by a full 2kg or 3kg. This is largely based on Gold Standard’s sterling fourth in the Sun Met, as he is the only Cape middle-distance colt of his generation to have met older rivals in a Grade 1 contest.
Gold Standard’s merit rating was adjusted from 108 to 115 after the Met, and as Edict Of Nantes was only beaten a neck by that one at levels in the Selangor Cup, that could theoretically make him a 114.
With the benefit of hindsight the Cape Guineas could also have been undervalued, as the now retired to stud William Lonsgsword is only 109, after beating Gold Standard fair in square that day.
If that analysis is valid, that would make both Edict Of Nantes and Al Sahem slung in relative to the older runners at Greyville next Saturday, and by association the other three-year-olds would hold a marked advantage as well. Food for thought (and profit). – Tab News.
Photo: Edict Of Nantes and Al Sahem.