Vodacom Durban July watchers will be on tenterhooks throughout this week in the build up to one of the most important pointers to the big race, the R400,000, Grade 2 Betting World 1900 which will be run on Friday night at Greyville.
The 1900 is one of the Champions Season D-Days for horses who are on the borderline of July qualification.
It’s My Turn, picture Liesl King
Justin Snaith has the topweight It’s My Turn, who finished fourth in the July last year. However, he was only in 18th place on the first July log, so will need to run a big race either here or in another qualifier like the Cup Trial.
Snaith’s other 1900 pair, Elusive Silva and Prince of Wales, put in excellent SA Champions Season pipe openers in the Listed Sledgehammer handicap over 1800m. Elusive Silva showed showed a magnificent turn of foot to win easing up and is now joint-second on the July boards at 8/1. He only has a 99 merit rating, but was in 16th place on the July log.
The winner of the 1900 can only get a maximum of a six point merit rated raise, so he looks likely to be one of the best weighted horses in the July. Prince Of Wales gave Elusive Silva 3kg in the Sledgehammer and ran on strongly to be beaten only two lengths. Snaith said he had come on tremendously for the run, so he still represents good July value at 33/1. Prince Of Wales and Elusive Silva have landed plum draws on Friday night.
Last year’s July-winning trainer Joey Ramsden has a fascinating runner in Macduff. He is merit rated only 89 and finished way back in the Sun Met, but he had some good 1800m form behind Whisky Baron before that. He won his only previous start at Greyville. That was in the Listed Darley Arabian over 1600m on the poly, where he showed a good turn of foot, He is as effective on turf and has a plum draw on Friday night.
National Champion trainer Sean Tarry runs the tough old front-running veteran Serissa, who should ensure a decent pace. He also runs five-year-old Hyaku and the three-year-olds Tilbury Fort and Copper Pot. Copper Pot has a good turn of foot, but has been found wanting in features to date. Tilbury Fort finished a good 2.8 length third in the Gauteng Guineas, but was way back in the Grade 1 SA Classic, where he might not have enjoyed the going, as he should stay the 1900m trip.
Geoff Woodruff’s Master Switch has come into his own this season, so should do better in this race than he did last year. His stablemate Go Direct has also come into his own in the typical manner of a four-year-old by Go Deputy and is a dark horse. Both of Woodruff runners have wide draws.
Three-time July-winning trainer Dean Kannemeyer runs Mr Winsome, who is a typically improving son of Silvano, but must prove he is as good against out of province horses as he is against the locals.
Gavin van Zyl runs the long-striding but continually disappointing Rocketball. He has dropped to a 95 merit rating and showed some signs of revival last time.
Four-time July-winning trainer Mike de Kock runs Jubilee Line, who is yet to live up to the regard he is held in, but ran a good race in a 2000m handicap last week.
Duncan Howells runs Ten Gun Salute, who was in last year’s July and has been said to have come on a lot from gelding.
Glen Kotzen runs Banner Hill who proved himself more than just a stayer when easily winning his Champions Season pipe opener over 1800m on the Greyville turf.
2017 Vodacom Durban July ante-post betting guide [as at 12:53pm May 15]:
13/2 Marinaresco, Al Sahem; 7/1 Elusive Silva; 14/1 Heavenly Blue; 15/1 Black Arthur, Saratoga Dancer; 16/1 Horizon, Edict Of Nantes; 18/1 Its My Turn; 20/1 Pagoda, Hat Puntano #; 25/1 Copper Force, Africa Rising, Captain America, Krambambuli, Zodiac Ruler; 28/1 Brazuca, The Conglomerate, Deo Juvente; 33/1 Prince Of Wales, French Navy, Master Switch; 35/1 Bela-Bela, Master Sabina, Nightingale; 40/1 Orchid Island, Secret Captain; 50/1 Liege, Banner Hill; 66/1 Nebula; 80/1 Ten Gun Salute, Bi Pot, Silver Mountain; 100/1 Safe Harbour, Witchcraft, Girl On The Run, Smiling Blue Eyes, Trophy Wife; 150/1 Jubilee Line, Tilbury Fort, Macduff, Bold Viking; 250/1 Royal Badge, Copper Pot; 300/1 The Elmo Effect, Rocketball, Fort Meyers.
Odds courtesy of www.trackandball.co.za and subject to change
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