Dynasty (PICTURED), a three-year-old Fort Wood colt trained by Dean Kannemeyer, was one of the greatest horses to win the Vodacom Durban July and this year he has three excellent chances of joining the few July victors to have sired a July winner.
Dynasty was ridden by Robbie Fradd in the big race in 2003 and despite being caught wide from his extreme outside draw of 20 and fighting the rider for much of the journey he still managed to beat the top horse Yard-Arm by 0,75 lengths.
Dynasty’s three progeny in the race this year are the 17-10 favourite, the Brett Crawford-trained Jackson, the 14-1 Dennis Drier-trained Beach Beauty and the 20-1 Colin Scott-trained Sage Throne.
Jackson, like his father at the time he won, is a three-year-old colt who comes into the race off Grade 1 wins in the Investec Cape Derby and Daily News 2000.
Dynasty also won the SA Guineas at Greyville, a race that is now the equivalent of the Grade 2 KRA Guineas, where Jackson finished second to the top miler Variety Club.
Another more unfortunate comparison is that Jackson is also widely drawn, although not quite as badly in barrier 16.
However, one person who believes the draw will not be a hindrance to him winning is South Africa’s probable greatest ever jockey, Michael “Muis” Roberts.
Roberts rates Jackson’s regular jockey Karis Teetan.
He reckoned that if he himself was aboard Jackson he would ride him positively from his wide draw due to the lack of class in the race.
He added, “The draw is not ideal, but it does give him options.”
Beach Beauty is a four-year-old filly by Dynasty who will be dwarfed by her two paternal half-brothers in the parade ring as she stands at just over 15 hands, while both Jackson and Sage Throne are big, strapping sorts.
However, what she lacks in size she makes up with courage and plenty of class.
Beach Beauty has had bad luck to date in her Grade 1 appearances, finishing a flying second in last season’s Garden Province Stakes, second in the Paddock Stakes in which she was caught in front fighting the rider in a race that was run at a crawl and then she didn’t settle well in the J&B Met either, but still finished a close up fifth.
However, she has won three Grade 2s, all of them at Greyville over distances of 1600m, 1900m and 2000m.
Her fantastic turn of foot is ideal for this track and she should stay the trip.
Her big race jockey Sean Cormack was very pleased with her July gallop last week and with her overall preparation.
He said, “Her gallop was just what we wanted. She was relaxed and she is pretty small so she doesn’t need to do too much. We are very happy with her preparation.”
Beach Beauty also has quite a tough draw of 12 and Cormack said, “I would have liked a better draw, but we are lucky in that she is a pretty versatile horse, she can go up handy or be held up.”
There have been fears of a slow-paced July but Drier reckoned it definitely would not be run at a crawl.
“I think they will go at a nice type of a sedate pace,” he said, and didn’t think this would effect his filly’s chances.
A Drier win would fall 20 years after his only win in the race with Spanish Galliard, who gained the reputation as a big race bridesmaid until finally cracking the July win as a five-year-old.
He was similar to Beach Beauty in that he was always a very hard trier and finished close up or won no matter what trip he raced over, doing well in big races from 1200m up to the 2200m of the July.
Sage Throne, a four-year-old gelding, put up what many pundits felt was the best July gallop and has suddenly become a fancied runner, having been a borderline case just to get into the field at one stage.
Colin Scott was very happy with him and didn’t have any concerns about the pace.
“He is the type that switches off in the running,” he said.
Furthermore Sage Throne not only has a good draw of four but is a versatile sort.
He showed in the Grade 1 President’s Champions Challenge, when a 1,75 length fourth to Europa Point, that he can run from a handy position, while he showed how well he can run on from behind with a flying and somewhat unlucky second in the Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2400m.
Sage Throne will have no problem with the trip and is in fact considered to be one of the best candidates for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Gold Cup over 3200m on Super Saturday, July 28.