Run For It - Vodacom Durban July runner
Run For It - Vodacom Durban July runner

Run For It

(Photo : Gold Circle)


2 July 2011

David Thiselton Gold Circle
David Thiselton Gold Circle

David Thiselton Vodacom Durban July will attract throngs of enthusiasts to Greyville on Saturday as its popularity as a social event escalates, while interest in the sport of horseracing also seems to be making a comeback thanks to superstars like this year’s favourite, Igugu. With trainer Mike de Kock at the helm, Igugu will arrive on Saturday just as primed as last year’s one-two Bold Silvano and Irish Flame were.


Igugu has pulverised fellow three-year-old fillies in her last four outings, all classic events, and earlier in her third career start, did the same to good older fillies over a too sharp 1450m. She gets better the further she goes and has won at Greyville, leading from start to finish when romping home in the Woolavington 2000. Her jockey, Anthony Delpech, has ridden three July winners. A concern is that having never faced top class males she has never really been tested, so the mad scramble for position at the top of the straight, followed by the calvary charge for home will be a new experience.

Igugu’s class and breeding should get her through that, but only three three-year-old fillies in history have won the Durban July and she will have to do it with a big weight of 55kg, which in relative terms is 1kg more than the great Mike de Kock-trained Ipi Tombe carried to victory in 2002.


The laid back Run For It is a charismatic personality and also full of class. He wasn’t interested in his work at the gallops and put in a typically lazy effort which caused trainer Justin Snaith some concern as he still needs to get the last one or two kilograms off to reach his ideal racing weight. His flying short-head finish in the Daily News 2000 also at Greyville when still carrying some condition was testimony to his ability, not to mention his outstanding third place in the J&B Met. Run For It’s turn of foot will be especially effective over 2200m, a trip he will relish, and he has three times July winning jockey, Felix Coetzee, aboard. The one concern is his wide draw of 14.


The Apache won the Daily News 2000 and his style of running is ideal for the July as he not only makes up ground quickly in the straight, but also has an invaluable second kick. He is drawn well as opposed to his wide draw in the Daily News.


The four-year-old Bravura was the top of his generation and has been brought back to his best after being out for 10 months with a hind leg injury. He is lazy at home, but looked in immaculate shape at the gallops, so is going to be a huge runner with jockey Anton Marcus aboard. Bravura will love the distance, although he isn’t ideally drawn in 11.


English Garden needed the run badly in the Daily News 2000, according to the yard, and still went very close. He is a Grade 1 classic winner over 1800m and was perhaps unlucky not to have added the SA Derby over 2450m. English Garden is well drawn, has a fine turn of foot and has a July winning jockey in Karl Neisius aboard.


Black Wing is the rags-to-riches KZN hope and loves this course. He is better drawn than in the Daily News 2000 when hitting the front possibly too soon and finishing a narrow fourth, so a fairytale win is not unrealistic.


Super Storm is a big horse with a good record at Greyville and has a nice draw and a handy galloping weight.


Galileo’s Destiny will love this trip and has a good draw, and will only need slight improvement on his Grade 1 performances to date to be in the shake up.


Lion In Winter is the dark horse as he should enjoy this trip, has had a fine preparation and showed in the J&B Met just what a strong finish he can produce, while his very wide draw is not too bad as he likes to be near the back anyway.


Pierre Jourdan was running on well in the Grade 3 Jubilee over 1800m last time, completing a good preparation and despite his fairly big weight, some have forgotten that he beat the likes of July second and third Irish Flame and Orbison when winning the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein last season.

There are many horses capable of winning the race, so the selection of Run For It to be followed home by Igugu, The Apache, English Garden, Lion In Winter and Bravura is not a confident one.

Extract from Gold Circle