The performance of 3-1 favourite Rabada – and that of Anton Marcus – proved all the more sterling with the revelation that the ace rider had dropped his crop as the field turned into the straight of Grade 1 Daily News 2000.
Under hands and heels, Markus and Ingrid Jooste’s colt saw off a determined challenge from It’s My Turn (7-2, second favourite) and Anthony Delpech. Delpech narrowly missed out on a feature-race treble on the day as his speedy mount just went down by 0.25 lengths.
Trainer Justin Snaith might feel slightly aggrieved that the R2-million race was run at a crawl, with a frantic sprint for the line as the bunched-up field bundled into the straight. With a brisker gallop, his Dynasty gelding It’s My Turn – who has proven staying credentials – might have snatched the big prize. Also, in the final 100m, It’s My Turn hung in quite sharply, seeking the company of the leader, and lost himself some ground.
Dean Kannemeyer’s progressive colt Mambo Mine (8-1) ran on very stoutly from near the back of the field into third place (a length behind It’s My Turn), with Rocketball (7-1) – another who wasn’t suited by the pace – charging into fourth, just 1.50 lengths behind the winner.
Punters hoping that the Daily News 2000 would clarify the picture for the Vodacom Durban July might have found a few pointers despite the muddled pace.
It looks like Rabada has dispelled most doubts over his stamina capacity, while all the placed runners will surely get the 2200m of the Durban July with ease. However, a few July candidates prepping here clearly won’t have the lungs for the big race.
Rabada, a son of Brave Tin Soldier, was bred by perennial national champion breeder Summerhill Stud and is a R300,000 graduate of the 2014 CTS Ready To Run Sale, He has now won five of his eight starts for earning of R1,223,750.