The July Barometer
Difficult weather conditions over this past week will have put a kink in many a preparation for tomorrow’s Greyville racing but it is still mouth-watering stuff as a host of Vodacom Durban July hopefuls line up.
Because of the inclement weather, the majority of the races have been moved to the poly surface but the three races that count remain on the turf including the G2 Betting World 1900. The race is loaded with July hopefuls who are either warming up or looking to gallop open a place in the July field.
The Justin Snaith trio of It’s My Turn, Prince Of Wales and Elusive Silva are all border-line cases. It’s My Turn and Elusive Silva are 18 and 16 respectively in the current July log while Prince Of Wales is among the five just out of the 20 horses on the log.
Geoff Woodruff saddles Master Switch, currently 20th on the log, who has shown up well in his two starts this year but is another needing a forward showing.
Ten Gun Salute, a July runner last year, is older and stronger but probably needs to win or finish in the first three to have a chance of making the July field. His last outing in the Drill Hall Stakes is best ignored as he tweaked a back muscle.
Banner Hill has come good this winter, winning a handicap in good fashion, but like Ten Gun Salute will need a win here or in the Cup Trial to enhance his chances of making the July field.
Rocketball has gone off the boil and would be a surprise winner, tomorrow or on July 1. Macduff has been close-up behind Met winner Whisky Baron in the past and could be a surprise package. Tilbury Fort, Copper Pot and Jubilee Line are three others for which this race could be make-or-break although the two former could still have a shot in the Gr1 Daily News 2000.
Some have taken a slightly easier route in the Allowance Plate. Investec Derby winner Edict Of Nantes, sixth on the July log, looks assured of a place and as he has not been out since his Derby win in January, this is a likely warm-up. Not so for Bold Viking and Secret Captain, although both are likely entries for the Gr1 Daily News 2000.
Finally, last year’s Vodacom Durban July winner, The Conglomerate, has been carefully placed by Joey Ramsden and is an interesting runner in the Pinnacle Stakes where other July entries include Nebula and Royal Badge.
2017 Vodacom Durban July ante-post betting guide [as at 9:31am May 18]:
13/2 Marinaresco, Al Sahem; 7/1 Elusive Silva; 13/1 Heavenly Blue; 15/1 Black Arthur; 16/1 Its My Turn, Edict Of Nantes, Horizon, Saratoga Dancer; 20/1 Pagoda, Hat Puntano #; 25/1 Copper Force, Captain America, Zodiac Ruler, Africa Rising, Krambambuli; 28/1 The Conglomerate, Brazuca, Deo Juvente; 33/1 French Navy, Prince Of Wales, Master Switch; 35/1 Bela-Bela, Master Sabina, Nightingale; 40/1 Orchid Island, Secret Captain; 50/1 Liege, Banner Hill; 66/1 Nebula; 80/1 Ten Gun Salute, Bi Pot, Silver Mountain; 100/1 Safe Harbour, Witchcraft, Girl On The Run, Smiling Blue Eyes, Trophy Wife; 150/1 Jubilee Line, Tilbury Fort, Macduff, Bold Viking; 250/1 Royal Badge, Copper Pot; 300/1 The Elmo Effect, Rocketball, Fort Meyers;
Odds courtesy of www.trackandball.co.za and subject to change