where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2022-06-21 12:52:00  


Apprentice Rachel Venniker will make history in the 126th running of the R5 million Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July by becoming the first female rider in the history of the race. Joey Soma has taken a leap of faith in booking the young apprentice, champion elect this season, in a notoriously rough race.

When the draws were done at Hollywoodbets headquarters in Umhlanga today, Soma drew gate 14 for Red Saxon in the 18-horse field.

By late on Monday, after the 11am declarations, there were a number of trainers still hunting jockeys. Given the weight conditions, half of the 18-horse field were carded to carry less than 53.5kg and by the time the draws were made, Johan Janse van Vuuren was still to declare riders for his two runners, Puerto Manzano and Second Base.

JP van Der Merwe retains the ride on Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Astrix who drew wide at 17 with Warren Kennedy, usually first call for Peter, picking up the ride on the Mike de Kock-trained Gr1 SA Derby winner Aragosta who subsequently finished a close-up third behind stable companion Safe Passage in the Gr1 Daily News 2000. He drew pole position at gate 1.

S’Manga Khumalo, has opted to ride De Kock’s filly Sparkling Water in preference to dual Gr1 L’Ormarins Queens Plate and Gr1 Champions Cup winner Jet Dark. Justin Snaith has replaced him with top heavy-weight rider Bernard Fayd’Herbe who will jet in from Mauritius for the ride.

Sparkling Water finished a short-head back to surprise winner Astrix in the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes but is now 0.5kg better off in the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

With four runners in the race, De Kock was quick to snap up light-weights Muzi Yeni, Kennedy and Khumalo while Callan Murray, now resident in Australia, made the call for Al Muthana, a horse that he has won on in the past. Murray will be comfortable with the 58kg allotted his mount although he has drawn wide at 16.

With the filly Marina not making the cut for Candice Bass-Robinson, Aldo Domeyer has picked up the ride on Do It Again for Justin Snaith. Twice winner of this race and a tad unlucky in fourth last year, the seven-year-old veteran of the turf will have many supporters this year after his emphatic win in his warm-up in the Gr2 World Sports Betting 1900. He drew barrier 2.

Piere Strydom makes a return to racing after a lengthy break from the saddle. He suffered a detached retina in a riding accident and it was touch-and-go whether he would ever ride again. He intimated that if he did not get a mount in this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July that he would probably hang up his boots.

Justin Snaith heeded the call and Strydom will attempt to equal Anton Marcus’s record of five July victories when he partners former July winner Belgarion who pulled a plum gate at 11. Marcus is currently on the injury list and will miss riding in the race for the first time in many years.

Last year’s winner Kommetdieding and runner-up Linebacker will renew rivalry. Kommetdieding, drawn 18 last year, has a more favourable gate in 13 this year while Linebacker has drawn 4. Gavin Lerena will again be aboard Kommetdieding while Grant Van Niekerk will be hoping to go one better on Linebacker.

Mike Rattray’s biggest dream was to win this race and although coming close twice, he was never able to realise his dream as he passed away earlier this year. His colours will be carried by Waterberry Lane as Dean Kannemeyer promised. Kannemeyer has won this race three times and Waterberry Lane pulled a plum draw of 7.

The race will be run over 2200m on Saturday, July 2. Sporting venues are still restricted under Covid regulations to 50% of capacity. Stephen Marshall, Marketing Executive for Gold Circle said that this equates to 27 500 but pointed out that ticket sales have been brisk and way ahead of what was expected. He estimated that there were about 3000 tickets left available through Computicket.

Image 4Racing 

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • South Africa
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    khumalo shines as sparking water has her day 13 hours ago

    S'manga Khumalo was a man under pressure to show that he picked the correct horse for the Durban Jul...

    View | Add Comment
    airways law in as zapatillas is out 2 days ago

    Kentucky Derby had its 50/1 crazy moment and history could repeat in the Durban July as emergency ac...

    View | Add Comment
    female rider out of july, venniker injured5 days ago

    Booked to ride Red Saxon for trainer Joe Soma, and in the process becoming the first female jockey t...

    View | Add Comment
    july at full capacity as restrictions lifted2022-06-24

    With the news this week that all Covid restrictions and regulations have been removed, and that all ...

    View | Add Comment
    big crowd attends july gallops 2022-06-23

    The Hollywoodbets Durban July gallops produced an early morning buzz at Hollywoodbets Greyville toda...

    View | Add Comment
    4racing announces six additional august race meetings2022-06-22

    4Racing is pleased to announce that it plans to schedule an additional six race meetings duri...

    View | Add Comment
    kommetdieding draw is ideal in july defence 2022-06-21

    The Hollywoodbets Durban July Final Field is out!! The field features 3 past winners of Africa&rsquo...

    View | Add Comment
    racing 240 to bring punters all the build-up to the july2022-06-20

    South Africa’s national horseracing channel, Racing 240, will this week host two live expe...

    View | Add Comment
    roses at ascot, can south africa learn? 2022-06-19

    I’ve been going to Royal Ascot for at least 40 years on and off with really only the last 2 co...

    View | Add Comment
    riding tactics prove tonic for decorated 2022-06-19

    The Frank Robinson-trained gelding Decorated is by Galileo sire Global View and won the Grade 3 Trac...

    View | Add Comment