Smanjemanje takes down The Apache and Pierre Jourdan in the London News Stakes (Gr3)
(Photo : JC Photos)
VODACOM DURBAN JULY (Grade 1)
Greyville, Turf, 2200m
7 July 2012
The MercurySmanjemanje, the “Johannesburg Giant Killer”, put up pleasing work in his official televised Vodacom Durban July gallop on the Turffontein sand earlier this week and trainer Tyrone Zackey said he was pleased with his preparation.
Zackey’s charge is at the bottom of the bookmaker’s boards at 50-1, but that is the right sort of price for him as he won the Grade 2 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m in November last year at odds of 33-1, and finished a close third in the Grade 1 President’s Champions Challenge over 2000m in April at odds of 45-1.
In between that the Summerhill Ready To Run graduate won the Grade 3 London News Stakes over 1800m in January at odds of 16-1, having run a 2,75 length fifth in the Grade 1 Summer Cup at the end of November. These performances have earned him the nickname the “Giant Killer” on the Highveld.
Zackey gave Smanjemanje a break after the Champions Challenge, so was very happy with his staying on three-length third in the Grade 3 Jubilee over 1800m last time out. “He still needed it and he had to carry 60kg,” he said. “You don’t want to overcook a July horse. The July has been his mission and he will come on from that run.”
Zackey added, “There has been no pressure on him to win any races to get into the July.”
Smanjemanje will be 5kg better off with the Jubilee winner Eton Square.
Zackey has prepared him for the tight Greyville track. He has shortened his work, wary that he will need an instant turn of foot at the top of the short 450m straight.
Regarding his draw of 11, Zackey said, “He will be out of the trouble. The jocks are all trying to find the fence, but you need a lot of gate speed to do that from his draw and he hasn’t got that.”
Zackey described how rough a race the July often was, but this didn’t decrease his confidence in the inexperienced Van Niekerk, who will be having his first July ride.
Smanjemanje finished a good fourth in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m at Clairwood as a two-year-old. However, he choked up in one of his subsequent races and was found to have a soft palate. A cornel collar was fitted, while he was also gelded, and Zackey said these measures brought tremendous improvement.
Co-owner George Barker represented Smanjemanje at the draw ceremony last Thursday. He has only been in racehorse ownership for three years. “Winning the July is what we all dream of. You can buy a Ferrari, but it will never give you this.”
Zackey summed up the Kahal five-year-old gelding’s chance, “I think he will do quite well and will hold his own provided he gets luck in running.”
Extarct from The Mercury, The Racegoer
5 Year Old Bay Gelding
Trainer : Tyrone Zackey
Jockey : Grant van Niekerk
Career Record : 5 Wins, 14 Places, 39 Starts
Career Earnings : R996,700