Black Wing wins from Esteco
Black Wing wins from Esteco

Black Wing - Durban July Live Candidate

(Photo : Gold Circle)


2 July 2011

Tuesday evening was a revelation. Firstly, the third race at Greyville was the first prep run for Run For It, Justin Snaith’s much-fancied Vodacom July aspirant, who took on Tony Rivalland’s much-vaunted Royal Zulu Warrior over 1400m under the lights. The latter was a bit of disappointment, unbeaten as he was to date, and clearly not at home on the Greyville bend, alternately under the lights, alternately he didn’t have the stamina for the trip. The final alternative, which we doubt, is that he’s not as good as we all thought. Run For It’s connections would’ve been satisfied with the outcome, particularly as he’s been off since the J&B Met, the track and the lights were strange, and the trip was short of his best on a “sticky”.

The one which provides for a bit of dreaming though, was Paul Gadbsy’s Black Wing, a purchase off the farm at Summerhill for R50,000. The son of Kahal has now won four in a row, but his improvement has been startling. He picked up an 9 pound penalty for his last trip to the races, was giving away 3kgs to Esteco, a year older Argentinean import of Mike de Kock’s (who’d won three of his first four,) and he won with some authority. Suddenly, from what was looking like a fairly bleak Vodacom Durban July entry for Summerhill, we have three live candidates, the first being the obvious favourite at this stage, Igugu, the horse on everyone’s lips. Besides her and Black Wing, we have Solskjaer’s unbeaten son, Ice Axe, who’s now three-for-three, and who makes his next appearance in the KZN Guineas (Gr2) weekend after next. Between the three of them, we look to be mounting a pretty formidable challenge, and suddenly there’s credence for the old saying that in racing, a week is a long time.

“Live” candidates, did we say? The talk from Gauteng is that Pierre Jourdan, South Africa’s biggest earner last season at R3,8million, is back in business. More than that, Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey of the past 10 seasons, “The Demon” Dougie Whyte, took him for a spin at Turffontein last week, and immediately volunteered his services for the “July”. Who knows, we could be four-fisted come the first Saturday of that month!!

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