pocket power
pocket power

Pocket Power - “His Exploits are Legendary”

(Photo - Gold Circle) 

VODACOM DURBAN JULY

31 July 2010

Pocket Power has been allocated top weight of 60kg for “Africa’s Greatest Horserace”, the Vodacom Durban July, to be staged this year on 31 July at Greyville Racecourse.

Nicci Garner writes that Pocket Power’s rating has come down three points in the last month positioning South Africa’s ruling champion with a seemingly open run at an event he has already contested three times notching up a win, a fourth and a fifth placing.

The weights for the country’s premier event were announced yesterday and there were few surprises, although trainer Mike de Kock, who has won the race twice before - with Ipi Tombe in 2002 and Greys Inn in 2004 - will not be too thrilled with the 56kg his ruling favourite Irish Flame has been allotted.

Three-year-olds may have managed to win 10 of the last 20 renewals of this Grade 1 race, but none have succeeded in winning under weights in excess of 53kg. Even taking into account the across-the-board 2kg raise, Irish Flame will need to be exceptional to win under that impost.

Irish Flame will be piloted by Kevin Shea, who has now won the SA Derby and Gold Circle Derby as well as the Daily News 2000 on the son of Dynasty. He believes he is on the best horse : “The July is not easy. I’ve got a good ride and I think I’m on the best three-year-old at the moment.”

“I think my stable companions are the horses to beat. I respect horses like Pocket Power and River Jetez but I think our stable is going to have a very strong hand in the July - and if they’re all well on the day, I think they’re going to fight it out,” said Shea earlier this week.

Mike de Kock’s other big hopes in the Durban July are Greyville 1900 winner Bold Silvano (55.5kg), Gold Cup winner Ancestral Fore (55kg), Happy Valley (54kg) and new recruit Lizarre (53.5kg).

All four of them, as well as Rudra who will receive just 0.5kg from Pocket Power, are nearly guaranteed runs in the race and De Kock said on his website earlier this week : “The handicappers have not been lenient on the three-year-olds. They’re lumping the weight on them as if they don’t want them to win.” He also admitted that they had been on the boil for a long time. “But these horses are fit. They have to go out there and the best horse on the day will win.”

Herman Brown’s progressive and highly regarded Orbison galloped into the July picture last Saturday with his impressive win in the Champions Cup when Galileo’s Galaxy (who will be 2.5kg better off if he runs in the July and has attracted big money subsequently) finished second with Pocket Power (1.5kg better off) third and De Kock’s Bold Silvano (1.5kg better off) 3.75 lengths back in fourth. On the bare evidence, Orbison must be fancied to beat his conquests again.

Herman Brown, who will be taking Orbison to Dubai for the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival, said yesterday: “He’s a good horse and the way he won last Saturday was promising. He did it with some authority. Plus, he’s still improving. I believe he’ll be better at four and five than he is at three because he’s a tall, leggy horse who hasn’t developed his full strength yet.”

“But the Durban July under 55.5kg? The three-year-olds have become the heavy-weights in this race. It wasn’t long ago that the three-year-olds got 50 and 51kg - and maybe the handicappers are going overboard.”

“The three-year-olds are a decent bunch, though, and seem to be doing quite well,” he continued before suggesting a lack of depth in the older generations was the reason the three-year-olds looked so good.

Brown continued : “As it stands, the draw will be very important. If Orbison can draw in the first five or six it’ll make all the difference. Then I’ll say he’s one of three horses with a big chance in the July.”

Pocket Power’s stable companion Fort Vogue is currently the second favourite for the big race. The four-year-old will meet Irish Flame at level weights, while the Bass champion’s full-sister to Pocket Power, River Jetez, who has also been well backed in ante-post betting, is set to carry 1kg less.

Sean Tarry’sSummer Cup winner, Aslan, who was only pipped by Bold Silvano in the Greyville 1900 (often considered a good pointer to the July), has also attracted a good deal of money and, with 54.5kg. His supporters will be thrilled with their investment.

Important dates to note :

8 July 2010 : First Declaration

15 July 2010 : Final Field to be announced on Tellytrack

22 July 2010 : Public Gallops at Greyville Racecourse

31 July 2010 : Vodacom Durban July at Greyville Racecourse

vodacom durban july logo
vodacom durban july logo

VODACOM DURBAN JULY WEIGHTS

Horse

Age

Kg

MR

Trainer

POCKET POWER

7 G

60.0

117

Mike Bass

RUDRA

5 H

59.5

116

Mike de Kock

FABIANI

4 G

56.5

110

Glen Kotzen

IRISH FLAME

3 C

56.0

113

Mike de Kock

FORT VOGUE

4 G

56.0

109

Mike Bass

BOLD SILVANO

3 C

55.5

112

Mike de Kock

ORBISON

3 G

55.5

112

Herman Brown

RED RAKE

5 G

55.5

108

Michael De Beer

ANCESTRAL FORE

3 G

55.0

111

Mike de Kock

RIVER JETEZ

6 M

55.0

107

Mike Bass

ASLAN

4 G

54.5

106

Sean Tarry

FOREST PATH

4 G

54.5

106

Stephen Page

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

4 F

54.5

106

Mike Bass

HAPPY VALLEY (ARG)

3 G

54.0

109

Mike de Kock

CAPTAIN SCOTT

4 G

54.0

105

Alec Laird

LIZARRE

3 C

53.5

108

Mike de Kock

GRAFTON STREET

8 G

53.5

104

Mike Stewart

RUSSIAN SAGE

5 H

53.5

104

Justin Snaith

BULSARA

3 G

53.0

106

Gavin van Zyl

ECHOHAWK

3 G

53.0

106

Dominic Zaki

GALILEO’S GALAXY (AUS)

3 C

53.0

106

Charles Laird

TALES OF BRAVERY

3 G

53.0

106

Vaughan Marshall

AL’S DEPUTY

3 G

53.0

105

Kumaran Naidoo

FLYING TRISTRAM

3 G

53.0

105

Charles Laird

EXHILIRATION

3 C

53.0

104

Dominic Zaki

SERVICE ACE

3 G

53.0

104

Mike Bass

STRAIGHT FORWARD

3 G

53.0

102

Mike de Kock

VERTICAL TAKEOFF

4 G

53.0

101

Sean Tarry

GALANTHUS

3C

53.0

100

Tyrone Zackey

KILLARIDGE (ZIM)

5 G

53.0

100

Weiho Marwing

NOBLEWOOD

5G

53.0

100

Stephen Page

STRATEGIC NEWS (AUS)

6 H

53.0

100

Herman Brown

WINTER’S NIGHT

3 G

53.0

100

Neil Bruss

DELLOTTO

3 C

53.0

99

Kumaran Naidoo

SPEED FOR GOLD

5 G

53.0

99

Dennis Drier

BOUQUET-GARNI

4 G

53.0

98

Gavin van Zyl

FORT PETERSBERG

3 G

53.0

97

Dominic Zaki

KING FERNANDO

3 G

53.0

96

Doug Campbell

SUPERFEDERATION

4 G

53.0

94

Gary Alexander

CALL TO COMBAT

4 C

53.0

91

St John Gray

SALUKI (GB)

4 G

53.0

91

Michael de Beer

WITTENBERG

3 C

53.0

90

Gavin van Zyl

CITIZEN DANTE (AUS)

5 G

53.0

87

Glen Kotzen

ROYAL ROCKER (AUS)

3 G

53.0

82

Tony Rivalland

TOP MARK (BRZ)

3 C

53.0

0

Mike de Kock

HERE TO WIN (BRZ)

3 F

52.0

102

Mike de Kock

GOAT

4 F

52.0

101

Paul Lafferty

IMPERIOUS STAR

3 F

52.0

99

Glen Kotzen

SANGRIA GIRL

5 M

52.0

98

Greg Ennion

FLIRTATION

3 F

52.0

97

Mike de Kock

EQUIPARADA (ARG)

3 F

52.0

94

Mike de Kock

Gold Circle 6 July 2010

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