Wednesday, 4 July 2012
: Form comments for all runners in the R3 million Durban July at Greyville on Saturday.
1 – PIERRE JOURDAN: Trainer Gary Alexander's charge ran second to Igugu in the Durban July last year. He has been a hard act to follow this season, winning the Charity Mile early in the campaign but running poorly in the Sansui Summer Cup and the Horse Chestnut Stakes. Showed signs of renewed enthusiasm when third to Variety Club and Castlethorpe in recent 1600m Gold Challenge. Wide draw and big weight, but enters the reckoning. Record: 21 runs; 9 wins; 9 places. Stakes R4,580,675.
2 – TALES OF BRAVERY: One of trainer Vaughan Marshall's two runners, his preparation has gone to order with a win over Chesalon in the 1400m Drill Hall Stakes and a fourth behind Variety Club in the Gold Challenge to show from two runs in KwaZulu-Natal this season. Cherryripe now but has a wide draw and might have stamina limitations, having placed only once in five runs beyond 1800m. Record: 26 runs; 9 wins; 9 places. Stakes R1,351,770.
3 – CASTLETHORPE: Australian-bred is one of Mike Bass' three runners. He ran his best race to date when second to 1.25-length winner Variety Club in the Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood. Was hampered when 12th in this race last year under a lighter weight and from a much better draw. His overall form suggests he is better over shorter distances and others make more appeal. Record: 20 runs; 7 wins; 6 places. Stakes R653,635.
4 – BEACH BEAUTY: Talented mare trained by Dennis Drier. Cleverly campaigned, she ran several good races in Cape features this summer and has done well in her two races so far this winter, going down to Princess Victoria over 1200m at Clairwood and then beating subsequent KZN Derby winner Master Plan in the Greyville 1900. Good over 1900m at Greyville but first time this far. Record: 14 runs; 7 wins; 6 places. Stakes R1,120,850.
5 – CHESALON: This Mike Bass-trained runner has run well over 2400m and will stay this 2200m. Two promising recent runs for 1.75 length second to Tales Of Bravery in the 1400m Drill Hall Stakes and a 1.55 length third behind Beach Beauty in the Greyville 1900. Jeff Lloyd returns from Australia to ride him and he is drawn midfield. Sound place prospects. Record: 15 runs; 5 wins; 7 places. Stakes R615,786.
6 – JACKSON: Brett Crawford's champion three-year-old has drawn wide but theoretically he has two
lengths in hand over the rest of the field on ratings and should only have to run to form to win. The Cape Derby winner will be racing against the best older horses for the first time and could easily run into traffic problems from No 16 draw. Worthy favourite and the one to beat. Record: 7 runs; 5 wins; 1 place. Stakes R1,256,205.
7 – POLAR BOUND: The second runner from the Crawford stable, he will have to improve on his recent form if he is to make an impact. Never got into the race when downfield from a wide draw in the Greyville 1900 and then hung and had to be checked when sixth to Gold Onyx in the Cup Trial last time out. Has won at this track before but tries further than 1900m for the first time and looks out of his depth. Record: 20 runs; 6 wins; 6 places. Stakes R455,310.
8 – SMANJEMANJE: Tyrone Zackey's charge sometimes pops up when you least expect him to, as in the Victory Moon Handicap and the London News Stakes this season. Has finished third in his last two runs, the first when beaten a length behind Europa Point after trying to make all in the President's Champions Challenge and the latest when beaten three lengths by Eton Square in the Jubilee Handicap. Not out of it. Record: 39 runs; 5 wins; 14 places. Stakes R996,700.
9 – ENGLISH GARDEN: Another Mike Bass charge back again after a great third behind Igugu and Pierre Jourdan in the Durban July last year. Disappointing on the Highveld this autumn before fair preparatory races in Durban recently, beating Whiteline Fever over the Greyville 1800m before finishing fast for third behind Gold Onyx in the 1800m Cup Trial. Each way if he runs to form. Record: 18 runs; 4 wins; 6 places. Stakes R2,077,340.
10 – TOP SELLER: This 2011 Cape Derby winner hails from the Marshall stable. Hasn't done much racing since and might have been flat in his second run after a layoff when eighth in the Greyville 1900 last time. He was half a length behind Gold Onyx over 1800m before that. Choice of stable jockey and has claims, but not well drawn. Record: 17 runs; 3 wins; 8 places. Stakes R1,088,630.
11 – GOLD ONYX: NZ-bred and one of three runners from the Sean Tarry stable. He has won three of his last four starts in good fashion, including trouncing stablemate Buy And Sell in the Cup Trial. Only seventh behind Beach Beauty in the Greyville 1900 and has his work cut out at the weights but has a good draw to do well Record: 24 runs; 6 wins; 4 places. Stakes R833,325.
12 – SOLO TRAVELLER: One of four runners from the stable of champion trainer Mike de Kock. Has been disappointing since winning the Guineas at Greyville last year and will be equipped with blinkers for the first time. Not bad when fourth behind Beach Beauty in the Greyville 1900 and was striding short when seventh in the Cup Trial after that. Record: 20 runs; 5 wins; 10 places. Stakes R1,363,225.
13 – SAGE THRONE: Trainer Colin Scott has been campaigning this gelding in Durban and Johannesburg with some success. Finished fourth behind Europa Point in the President's Champions Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein before finishing powerfully and failing by a neck to land the 2400m Lonsdale Stirrup Cup at Greyville. Weighted to turn the tables on Smanjemanje on Champions Challenge form. Record: 14 runs; 4 wins; 3 places. Stakes R392,400.
14 – POMODORO: Dead-heated for first with Royal Bencher in the SA Derby in April, but the Sean Tarry-trained runner was then somewhat disappointing in the Daily News 2000 in his first run at Greyville when fifth behind Jackson when hampered late. Has the worst draw but is much better than his last run suggests and will be ridden by top jockey Piere Strydom. Can shape. Record: 10 runs; 5 wins; 3 places. Stakes R1,369,250.
15 – ROYAL BENCHER: Trainer Alec Laird's runner held on to share first prize with Pomodoro in the 2450m SA Derby at Turffontein in April, but then flopped in the Daily News 2000 after he raced wide after a slow start and trailed in seventh behind Jackson. May not be suited to Greyville and will have to make huge improvement on his last effort in the toughest test of his career. Record: 10 runs; 4 wins; 1 place. Stakes R768,275.
16 – VETTEL: Argentine import hails from the powerful De Kock yard and has landed two of his three wins over long distances, so this 2200m should be sharp for him. He is 3.5kg better off with Jackson for a 3.75-length beating in the Daily News 2000 at this track last time and that effort brings him into the reckoning. Is much better drawn than Jackson and could make a bold bid with a light weight if he can break clear at the top of the straight. Record: 8 runs; 3 wins; 5 places. Stakes R384,650.
17 – GORONGOSA: Another De Kock runner, she has the best winning average of any runner in the line-up, having won nine of her 12 career starts including both her outings at Greyville. She is at her best over longer distances, but if there is a strong pace and the race becomes a test of stamina it will be no surprise to see her challenging the leaders at the finish. Well drawn and a must for trifectas. Record: 12 runs; 9 wins; 2 places. Stakes R846,611.
18 – ILHA BELA: Arguably the stable elect of De Kock's four runners, this highly rated filly placed in the first two legs of the Triple Tiara before crushing the opposition in the SA Oaks over 2450m at Turffontein in April. Then beaten four lengths by stablemate Viva Maria when odds-on favourite in the Woolavington 2000 at Greyville, but will be fitter now. Likes to race off the pace so wide draw should not prove disastrous. Expected to make a bold bid. Record: 11 runs; 4 wins; 4 places. Stakes R921,200.
19 – WHITELINE FEVER: Sean Tarry gave him a confidence-boosting run in a Graduation Plate last month and he duly obliged over 1400m at Scottsville. Should have no problems with the distance in his first start beyond 2000m after second to English Garden over 1800m at Greyville and then a fourth behind Jackson in the Daily News 2000. From rails draw looks a contender at the weights. Record: 11 runs; 3 wins; 5 places. Stakes R339,475.
20 – ETON SQUARE: Trainer Gavin van Zyl's runner has raced only four times and has a mountain to climb here, especially carrying 1.5kg more than should be the case in terms of merit ratings. Racing at Greyville for the first time but his trainer has a huge opinion of him and he is ideally drawn in gate 5. Will be ridden by top Cape jockey Glen Hatt and chance if he's as good as Van Zyl thinks. Record: 4 runs; 2 wins; 2 places. Stakes R207,875.