Rated as invite No 20 in the current Vodacom Durban July log Solid Speed, a son of Dynasty, will surely leapfrog up the table when an update is published on Monday, May 30.
Dean Kannemeyer’s five-year-old (5-1) had to survive a race review – called by the stipes after the gelding hung out under jockey Anthony Delpech in the closing stages – but in the end he was a deserving winner of the Grade 2 contest that is one of the pundits’ pointers to the Vodacom Durban July.
Interestingly, Kannemeyer used this race as the final prep for Power King before his Vodacom Durban July victory last year. Power King finished a close-up second, while Solid Speed just edged it this year.
Another of the dozen Vodacom Durban July hopefuls in the 1900 field, St Tropez (12-1), from the stable of Joey Ramsden, finished second, full of running under Keagan de Melo, just 0.15 lengths adrift, and might have done enough to boost his standing in the eyes of the Vodacom Durban July assessors. But with so many horses on the cut-line it’s no gimme.
Another 12-1 shot, Dynamic, from the Justin Snaith yard, claimed third place, two lengths back, with The Conglomerate (13-2) showing a return to form in fourth spot.
“It was a terrific performance,” said Kannemeyer of Solid Speed’s victory. “He is best at 2000m to 2400m but he can handle most trips as he has a great turn of foot.”
Anthony Delpech said he’d found the inside ground from a number nine draw “not too good” so switched his charge out to race three wide around the long Greyville turn. “He is doing very well and his last win impressed us. He shows you absolutely nothing in the mornings, but he won another very good race here,” said the jockey.
From an even break, Serissa raced into the lead, with Master Switch, Silver Spring, Master’s Eye, and Night Shadow just behind. Solid Speed found his travelling position some eight lengths back.
As the horses entered the straight Serissa was still hanging on, with Dynastic Power, Master Switch, Dynamic and The Conglomerate all ready to pounce.
In the race to the line, Solid Speed moved smartly up the middle of the track with St Tropez challenging from even wider. Solid Speed hung out under a vigorous ride, but both the stipes and the connections of St Tropez concluded that there wasn’t enough interference to go for a result reversal.
Among the other Vodacom Durban July candidates, Dynamic (third), The Conglomerate (fourth), It Is Written (fifth) and Master Switch (seventh) probably did not do enough to improve their big race prospects.
However, Paterfamilias, currently 12th on the log, will surely have secured a Vodacom Durban July spot with his victory in a Pinnacle Stakes race on the same card.