Wednesday, 4 July 2012
: Smanjemanje, Johannesburg's giant killer, is set to run up to his reputation in Saturday's R3 million Durban July according to his trainer Tyrone Zackey.
Zackey's charge is at 50-1, but that is the right sort of price for him as he won the G2 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m in November last year at odds of 33-1 and finished a close third in the G1 President's Champions Challenge over 2000m in April at odds of 45-1.
In between he won the G3 London News Stakes over 1800m in January at odds of 16-1, performances that have earned him the nickname “The Giant Killer” on the Highveld.
Zackey gave Smanjemanje a break after the Champions Challenge, so was very happy with his three lengths third in the G3 Jubilee over 1800m last time out.
“He still needed it and he had to carry 60kg,” he said. “You don't want to overcook a July horse. The July has been his mission and he will come on from that run.
“There has been no pressure on him to win any races to get into the July, thank goodness.”
"I think he will do quite well and will hold his own provided he gets luck in running."
Zackey has prepared him especially for the tight Greyville track. He has shortened his work, wary that he will need an instant turn of foot at the top of the short 450m straight.
“We didn't push him too hard as he is super fit. He will be out of the trouble. The jockeys are all trying to find the fence, but you need a lot of gate speed to do that from his draw and he hasn't got that.”
Smanjemanje will be jockey Gary Van Niekerk first July ride.
“The horse and rider go very well together,” Zackey said. “I have confidence in the rider especially on that horse.”
Excited owner George Barker has only been in racehorse ownership for three years.
He said: “Winning the July is what we all dream of. You can buy a Ferrari, but it will never give you this.”