Marinaresco could top July weights

Last year’s second Marinaresco looks like ending up with top weight if, as seems possible, Captain America sidesteps the R4.25m, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) at Greyvilly on July 1st.

Marinaresco, picture Nkosi Hlophe

Brett Crawford said: “Captain America works on grass this week and starts off in the (Independent On Saturday) Drill Hall and then goes for the Rising Sun Gold Challenge which will be one of his main missions. We will then make a call as to whether he runs in the July or waits for the Champions Cup.”

Since El Picha in 2000 only one horse has won South Africa’s most celebrated race with top weight – Pocket Power when he dead-heated with Dancer’s Daughter in 2008 – and that horse’s owner Marsh Shirtliff confirmed that Marinaresco will take his chance in the July 1 spectacular even if the gelding has to shoulder 60kg. So too did trainer Candice Bass-Robinson, saying: “It wouldn’t be ideal but we will run assuming things go right in the meantime.”

In last year’s July Marinaresco was beaten a quarter of a length by The Conglomerate. Both carried 55.5kg but now Marinaresco is rated 4kg better. Much of the difference is due to the weight-for-age scale but it underlines Joey Ramsden’s view that The Conglomerate is “still off a reasonable mark.”