Past Master - J&B Met 2011
(Photo : Gold Circle)
VODACOM DURBAN JULY
2 July 2011
We’re just ten days away from Africa’s biggest horse race, the Vodacom Durban July and the comments are flying thick and fast. Everyone fancies their chances, and the betting is beginning to reflect the positions of the bigger and more enterprising punters, who’ve already begun to show their hands. Jockeys have been declared, the draw is out, and those on whom you could get 25-1 and 30-1 a week ago, are now commanding as little as 12’s and 14’s.
Interviewed yesterday by The Mercury, Gavin van Zyl proclaimed The Apache in great shape, having improved from his win in the Daily News 2000. Gavin, it seems, is high on the three year olds, as he sees among his major threats, Run For It, English Garden and the Summerhill lurker, Black Wing, who finished in the next three spots behind The Apache in the Daily News. The one horse they’re not discounting among the older brigade though, is Past Master; he seems to be on everyone’s lips when the assessments come out, as does Igugu, by the proverbial country mile, the leader of the three year old fillies. Her odds have been trimmed from 7-2 to 28-10 in a week, in a telephone call with the boss yesterday, Michael DeMaine of SABC TV, mentioned that she had gone “walkabout” in the betting. We’re not seeing that in these numbers, but we’ll enquire, and if its material, we’ll post the outcome.
The one horse the pundits have been a little silent about in the last few days, is Pierre Jourdan, a R60,000 graduate of the Summerhill draft at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run, and South Africa’s biggest earner at R3,8 million last season. Ten-times champion jockey, Dougie Whyte, is enduring the jet lag from Hong Kong to be here for him, and with his draw at No.5, the Alexanders are quietly confident of a big run. There’ll be plenty to talk about in the days ahead, and a visit to this site will keep you abreast of developments.
Vodacom Durban July
RUN FOR IT
BIG CITY LIFE
LION IN WINTER
Bold denotes Summerhill runners - correct as at 22 June 2011