Friday, 6 July 2012
: Brett Crawford, trainer of Durban July favourite Jackson, is confident his stable jockey Karis Teetan will have all the answers when he lines up on the three-year-old at Greyville on Saturday.
Photo by Liesl King
has been the talk of South African racing for months with five wins from his seven starts but faces his biggest challenge in the July from barrier 16.
“Karis has ridden in the July three times and his BMT (big-match temperament) has always been his biggest asset,” said Crawford.
“It's amazing the change that occurs in some jockeys from riding in a normal race to a Group 1.
"Nerves can take over, but to Karis it's just another race.
"When instructions don't work out, a jockey has to have the foresight to decide where to go and I believe he's got that too.”
Teetan, respected as a smart tactician, has ridden over 100 winners this season including three G1 victories, two of them aboard Jackson.
A big horse with a huge stride, Jackson established his superiority over his contemporaries with a fluent win the 2000m Investec Cape Derby in January.
He's run only twice since, finding 1600m too short when second to Variety Club in the SA Guineas in May and then putting up a flawless dress rehearsal with a comfortable success in the Daily News 2000 over the Greyville 2000m a month ago.
He is carrying 2kg less than should be the case on merit ratings because of a race condition that caps the maximum weight for three-year-olds at 57kg. That is effectively a two lengths bonus and stacks the odds in his favour.
Teetan was nearly knocked over the rail when riding Castlethorpe in last year's July when the victim of severe interference.
The horse did well to finish some five lengths back in 12th. He finished 11th on Gavin van Zyl-trained Cape Town in his first July ride in 2009 and 13th on the Paul Lafferty-trained Goat in 2010.
Crawford went close to winning the Durban July in 2002, when his charge Angus was beaten a head by champion filly Ipi Tombe.
Angus, who subsequently won the J&B Met, enjoyed a good preparation that year and Crawford reckons Jackson's preparation has been just as good.
Crawford also has the four-year-old Polar Bound in Saturday's big race at Greyville.
“If you look at his last two runs properly they weren't bad at all. With 57kg he will have a helluva job, but he has a good draw and we will have him spot on for the day," Crawford said.