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Bass-Robinson, Fayd'Herbe and Marinaesco win the Durban July

Cape Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson won the 2017 renewal of the R4,25m, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) at Greyville on Saturday with her father Mike’s co-owned Marinaesco under Bernard Fayd’Herbe with the four-year-old Silvano gelding carrying top-weight of 60kg.

Bass-Robinson, Fayd'Herbe and Marinaesco win the Durban July

Cape Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson won the 2017 renewal of the R4,25m, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) at Greyville on Saturday with her father Mike’s co-owned Marinaesco under Bernard Fayd’Herbe with the four-year-old Silvano gelding carrying top-weight of 60kg.

Marinaesco held off the three-year-old challenge from Al Sahem with 53.5kg under S’Mango Khumalo and Edict Of Nantes with 54kg under Anton Marcus with the margins a head and 1/4L. Bass also trained Nightingale who was fourth equal with Krambambuli.

Last year Marinaesco was second to The Conglomerate Horseform (AUS) with Mike Bass the trainer and Candice his assistant. Bass did not renew his licence for the new season and Candice stepped up to run the stable in her own right, but not before Marinasco had won the Grade 1 Mike and Carol Bass Memorial Cup over 1800m at Greyville at the end of the 2016 Champions Season in July.


Discussion before this year’s renewal of the July was of the favourable weights afforded to the three-year-old’s under the conditions of the race. Bass-Robinson and Summervelt assistant Robert Fayd’Herbe set about winning even with Marinaesco’s allotted 60kg and a three race campaign.

First up he won the Grade 2 Drill Hall Stakes over 1400m at Greyville on May 7th with 60kg. The next race, the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m, also at Greyville, was a mistake with Fayd’Herbe going forward with Marinaesco in a similar manner to their Drill Hill Stakes win, but he faded to 11th.

On Saturday the stable went back to the previous plan and Fayd’Herbe settled in the rear of the field on the rails with just six behind them with 1000m to run. They did not run an additional metre than was necessary.

Up front It's My Turn Horseform and Piere Strydom led the field through to the cut-a-way rail with 400m to run. The Conglomerate and Callan Murray were in fourth on the rails and appeared to be travelling comfortably.

From the cut-a-way the field fanned across the track and Fayd’Herbe sent Marinaesco down the middle. The Conglomerate’s challenge was brief and he was gone to finish 13th and while It’s My Turn kept to his task he was soon under pressure finishing eighth.

Fayd’Herbe was faced with a wall in front of him that was not both going to take him forward, nor allow him a gap, so he switched to his right to the inside with 200m to travel. The required gap was not wide, but he went for it and Marinaesco showed a turn of foot that immediately had him levelling with the runners wider on the grandstand side of the track.

Marinaesco had Al Saham to his outside, racing in the middle, with others further out. However this time he was not to be denied and the win was Bass-Robinson’s in her first attempt at the race. For Fayd’Herbe it was a win in his own right as well after deadheating in 2008 on Pocket Power with Kevin Shea on Dancer’s Daughter.

The white and blue halved, pink sleeves and blue cap silks carried by Pocket Power were also worn by Fayd’Herbe in Saturday’s victory.

“I just needed a split,” said Fayd’Herbe.

“I was just waiting for him to get going and I gave him a few little taps on the left and he took off and I was like ‘phew’ I think I am going to get there.

“It was so close I was not too sure, but S’Manga said I think you have got it. I was very happy and it was a relief.

“Well done to all the connections and this one is especially for Mr Bass,” he said.

Bass-Robinson is the first female trainer to win the Durban July. She remarked that Marinaesco had been in fine condition going into the race and that the race plan of riding him cold was his path to victory.

Marinaesco, out of the Fort Wood mare Gay Fortuna and bred by Mauritzfontein Stud, earned R2.5m for the victory, just on doubling his stakes earnings for owners Bass, F Green, Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff.


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