The Vodacom Durban July gallops were held on Thursday morning at Greyville in preparation for the R4.25m Grade 1 feature over 2200m on the course on Saturday week and there were some eye-catching workouts amid the others who did not give much away.
The favourite Edict Of Nantes was his usual relaxed self and strode out well before being geared down in the final stages. Last year’s winner The Conglomerate has enjoyed a fine preparation and put up eye-catching work on the polytrack. He is carrying just 0.5kg more than last year and is drawn three as opposed to 18, so looks to have a good each-way chance.
Edict Of Nantes, picture Nkosi Hlophe
Elusive Silva looked very well in himself and put in a satisfactory gallop without being asked to a lot. It’s My Turn has clearly strengthened up as a four-year-old and impressed in his work out. Ten Gun Salute caught the eye and trainer Duncan Howells referred to his gallop as “exceptional”. He is clearly bullish about a horse who has only been “his true self” since gelding.
Black Arthur strode out well in a fast workout and ran all the way to the line. Nightingale, one of two fillies in the race, put up one of the most impressive workouts. She glided over the turf and was stretching out well. The other filly Safe Harbour galloped with the second favourite Al Sahem at Randjesfontein and analyst Kevin Shea, whose two July wins as a jockey were both on fillies, rated her gallop as the best of the lot. Al Sahem did nothing wrong either.
Marinaresco, picture Nkosi Hlophe
Marinaresco strode out well without blinkers, but will have the normal headgear on in the race. Brazuca put in one of the best gallops at Greyville and strode out beautifully. Sansui Summer Cup winner Master Sabina also threw out his leading leg noticeably well.
French Navy hated the blinkers in his last start and refused to gallop after being hit in the eye by a clod, but both trainer Sean Tarry and jockey Lyle Hewitson were pleased with his gallop and he will be a dark horse off a merit rating of 110, having raced off a 113 and a 115 in his two previous attempts when beaten three lengths and 3.9 lengths respectively.
Krambambuli has received a lot of betting support and has been doing very well at Summerveld, so was not asked to do a lot yesterday, but looked very well in himself. Saratoga Dancer never shows a lot in work and had his head twisted to the side down the straight, but trainer Howells explained this was due to him already being a fit horse and he was held back in this workout.
Mr Winsome has recovered well from his Track and Ball Derby win on Sunday and this progressive horse only did a 400m workout on the poly. Pagoda was green in his first outing at Greyville in the Daily News 2000, so should improve and he did nothing wrong in his workout. Tilbury Fort is a courageous sort who will give of his best. He did nothing wrong in his gallop, but he is up against it at the weights.
The two reserve runners Horizon and Nebula both put up good gallops.
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