Sunday, 10 June 2012
: Gold Onyx(NZ) was considered unlucky not to get a run in the 2011 Vodacom Durban July, but on Saturday afternoon he booked his berth with an impressive victory over several Vodacom Durban July contenders in the R200 000, Group 3 Cup Trial(1800m) at Clairwood Racecourse in Durban.
Gold Onyx occupied position 21 on the last Vodacom Durban July log issued in 2011 and was leapfrogged at the last minute by another horse.
The 2012 Vodacom Durban July seemed to be heading towards a rerun of the drama of last year, with Gold Onyx languishing in position 24 and time running out. However, his emphatic victory in the Group 3 Cup Trial should see the son of Black Minnaloushe leapfrog several horses to move into the top twenty.
Evergreen stable companion, Buy And Sell, came around the field from barrier 12 to take the early lead. Top weight Polar Bound with Stuart Randolph settled into second, with English Garden under Bernard Fayd'Herbe bowling along on the rail in fourth.
Muzi Yeni had slight control issues on the burly Buy And Sell and the gelding increased his lead to some thirteen lengths coming into the home turn. Anton Marcus on Gold Onyx sat patiently midfield and waited for the right moment to set the gelding alight.
At the 200m, Marcus finally pressed the button and while Gold Onyx showed an impressive turn of foot, it seemed as if the gap was too great to bridge. However, Marcus, the 2011 Jockey of the Year, judged it to perfection , with Gold Onyx passing his stablemate with meters to spare, giving Tarry a one two finish.
Marcus commented afterwards that Gold Onyx has a good burst of speed, but that he can only maintain it for about 200m and therefore one has to judge one's ride to perfection to get the best out of him.
English Garden ran on for third with Lake Arthur and Robbie Fradd back in fourth. The winning time was 1.49.18 with the distances 1.25L, 1L and 0.25.
Gold Onyx has not been without his problems and his last Group victory came in the Group 1 Premier's Champion Stakes(1600m) on Vodacom Durban July day in 2010. His victory in the Cup Trial hopefully indicates that he is back on track and ready to take his place in the Vodacom Durban July on July 7th.
Gold Onyx, by Black Minnaloushe out of the Kaapstad mare, Egoli Lass, recorded his sixth victory for owner Chris van Niekerk.
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