Durban woke to a bright and sunny day and it looks to be all systems go for the Gr2 Betting World 1900 this evening.
Punters may want to tread wearily though with the recent cold fronts having brought heavy rains to KZN and which made full work for Summerveld horses impossible.
Trainer Justin Snaith, whose three charges Elusive Silva, It’s My Turn and Prince Of Wales are at the top the boards for tonight’s feature, said it would consequently be impossible to predict just how well his charges would run.
Snaith pointed out, on top of the horses’ interrupted program, another important aspect to training was for a horse to go into a race feeling well and he added, “They have been soaking wet for three days, there has been a huge amount of rain.”
However, on the bright side, he said the Summerveld polytrack had allowed the horses to canter and he had also been “over the moon” with the well-being of the horses at the time of the cold front’s arrival.
He also singled out Elusive Silva as a horse who had proven himself to be “useful” in soft conditions.
He added, “Above all it is important for racing to go ahead.”
Elusive Silva is the current Vodacom Durban July joint-second favourite, not surprisingly after his impressive win in the Listed Sledgehammer over 1800m at Greyville. Snaith pointed out he had needed that run and would still be well weighted for the Betting World 1900 as his merit rating of 99 happened to be at the top of one of the merit rated bands.
He said Prince Of Wales, running on third in the Sledgehammer, had probably needed the run even more than Elusive Silva had and would now be 1kg better off for a two length beating.
Elusive Silva was in 16th place on the first July log, while Prince Of Wales was among the first five horses just outside the top twenty. The former will thus need a good run to solidify his place and the latter will need a big run to impress the panellists.
It’s My Turn finished fourth in last year’s July. He will carry 60kg on Friday night and will have to give the whole field at least 2kg. It will be his first run since finishing a decent 5,65 length eighth in the Sun Met, where he carried a 2kg Gr 1 penalty. Interestingly he finished just 1,6 lengths behind the current July favourite Marinaresco in the Met at level weights.
He will receive 4,5kgs from the latter in the July, as things stand, yet Marinaresco is a 15/2 shot and It’s My Turn is at 22/1.
Snaith said It’s My Turn would not be at his best on Friday night as he had to ensure he lasted for the entire SA Champions Season. However, he rated him a July dark horse.
“He will be better weighted in the July than he was last year,” he concluded.
Snaith also spoke of the well-being of Zodiac Ruler, who made a decent start to his Champions Season campaign by finishing second in an Allowance Plate over 1400m and then third in the Gr 2 Daisy Guineas.
Zodiac Ruler was in 17th place on the July log and It’s My Turn was in 18th place.
He said Krambambuli, whose last two runs have yielded wins in the Gr 2 Blue Label Telecoms Cape Stayers over 2800m at Kenilworth and the Non-Black Type Highland Night Cup over 2400m, would likely be weighted out of the Gold Cup, so this race was currently not on his list of targets.
Krambambuli has virtually booked his July berth as he was in 13th place on the log.
Meanwhile, the yard’s champion filly Bela-Bela will start her Champions Season campaign in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville’s Festival Of Speed meeting. The connections, whilst keeping in mind how valuable she already is, would decide the rest of her Champions Season campaign after that race.
Snaith said a tilt at the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge might be one of the options. Her two Gr1 wins have been in the Woolavington 2000 and the Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1800m and she is currently ninth on the July log.