RACE 7:Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (R3 Million) 2200m Bend
This must be one of the most open Durban July's in many years. In my selections I have largely gone for jockeys who know what it is like to win a July. Before I go any further I must add that one should not ignore the chances of the favourite JACKSON and even though I haven't included him in my PA he must be added as well as all remaining exotics.
PIERRE JOURDAN (Gary Alexander/Robbie Fradd) is coming back in to form for the big race and ran a good gallop last week. Also finished second in last year's race. Will have every chance. Robbie Fradd won this race on DYNASTY (Dean Kannemeyer) from a 20 draw. TALES OF BRAVERY (Vaughan Marshall/Felix Coetzee) was only two lengths behind IGUGU in the J & B Met in January. That in itself gives him a small chance, but the distance could find him wanting late on. Jockey would be no stranger to the winners enclosure for this race.
CASTLETHORPE (Mike Bass/Karl Neisius) ran into trouble in this race last year. May struggle this year. BEACH BEAUTY(Dennis Drier/Sean Cormack) won the Greyville 1900 last time. That used to be the pointer to this race. Finished less than two lengths behind IGUGU (Mike De Kock) in the J & B Met despite having been bumped late. Outside chance.
CHESALON (Mike Bass) has Jeff Lloyd aboard, who has flown from Australia in an attempt to win the very race that has eluded him for so long. Is coming back to form and could be running on. JACKSON (Brett Crawford/Karis Teetan) is a worthy favourite but jockey, who is really in top form, and horse may not be equipped to deal with a rough run race. Having said that, he must be included everywhere.
Stable companion POLAR BOUND (Brett Crawford/Stuart Randolf) cannot be fancied on current or earlier form against weaker.
SMANJEMANJE (Tyrone Zackey/Grant Van Niekerk) could also have more to find. My pick of the Mike Bass runners is ENGLISH GARDEN (Bernard Fayd'Herbe). Both trainer and jockey have won this race before and he is coming back in to form. Expect a good run from him.
TOP SELLER (Vaughan Marshall/MJ Byleveld) does not have the form to win.
GOLD ONYX (Sean Tarry/Gavin Lerena) ran on well to win the Cup Trial at Clairwood last time. That was a very good prep run and he will have his supporters. Both trainer and jockey are in excellent form.
SOLO TRAVELLER (Mike De Kock/Muzi Yeni) did not run well in the Cup Trial last time. But one can never discount trainer Mike De Kock in almost any race, particularly a race with such a high international profile.
SAGE THRONE (Colin Scott/Richard Fourie) had the best gallop of all the horses last week and even though this may not mean that much, it did show that he is well and must have a chance.
POMODORO could be the pick of the Sean Tarry runners, especially with Piere "Striker" Strydom aboard. Piere knows how to win the July, having won on LONDON NEWS (Alec Laird) and TRADEMARK (Mike Bass). He fought back to share first place with ROYAL BENCHER in the Derby at Turffontein. He then disappointed in the Daily News last time, finishing almost five lengths behind JACKSON when carried out wide into the straight. Was still running on late. Do not ignore.
ROYAL BENCHER (Alec Laird/Brandon Lerena) got it all wrong in the Daily News last time, losing a length, running wide and fading late. At best, a place prospect. VETTEL (Mike De Kock/Anton Marcus) could be the one to catch if Anton Marcus skips clear into the home straight with 400m to go. There is nothing wrong with his form and does have staying power and will see out this distance plus more. Stable companion
GORONGOSA, with Kevin Shea aboard has won nine from twelve starts. Kevin Shea has won this race before, the most notable winner being IPITOMBE (Mike De Kock). Has yet to meet such a quality field but is so well drawn that I have to like him. She has a very good turn of foot that she could be the one.
ILHA BELLA, the fourth Mike De Kock inmate. Jockey Anthony Delpech had first option as to which horse to ride and on that, ILHA BELLA must have a very good chance. Is also drawn up Marriott Road with a draw of nineteen. She is a classy filly and should not be ignored. Will be running on.
WHITELINE FEVER (Sean Tarry/Raymond Danielson) may prefer the shorter trip.
ETON SQUARE (Gavin Van Zyl/Glen Hatt) takes on his toughest assignment to date. Has only run on four occasions for two wins and two seconds. Will be running on and with only 53kg on his back and a nice draw could finish closer to the front of the field than the back.
SELECTIONS: 1st - GORONGOSA * (17); 2nd - VETTEL (16); 3rd - SAGE THRONE (13); 4th - ENGLISH GARDEN (9); 5th - PIERRE JOURDAN (1); 6th - JACKSON (6)
GREYVILLE (DAY/NIGHT) 7 JULY 2012 WHICH WAS POSTED ON TUESDAY.