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July – The Case For Black Arthur

Vodacom Durban July final field poser

Black Arthur has bounced back to his very best after gelding, report Snaith Racing in a press release issued today.

The classy Black Arthur – will he get the nod?

His preparation run for the 2017 Vodacom Durban July was on Saturday in the Cup Trial, against current July third favourite, Elusive Silva, and there was not much in it.

Black Arthur carried top weight (60kg) and gave Elusive Silva (57.5kg) two and a half kilos with the margin being only 0.55 lengths. In the July, Black Arthur will carry 54kg and Elusive Silva 53kg.

Justin Snaith was thrilled after the run on Saturday. “I thought Black Arthur may have beaten Elusive Silva despite the two and a half kilo difference, but he just needed his second run after the long rest and gelding. I will have him spot on for the Durban July and he is going to take some beating with 54 kilos.”

Grant Van Niekerk has been confirmed to ride the son of Silvano.

There has been a flood of money for Black Arthur over the past two months and he is currently fifth favourite on Betting World at 9-1.

All in all, this year’s Vodacom Durban July looks a very open and exciting contest.

Press Release issued by Snaith Racing – 12 June 2017

2017 Vodacom Durban July



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14 comments on “July – The Case For Black Arthur”

  1. What must we make of Bela Belas nomination in the Garden Province Stakes? Has our money on her for the July been done?

    1. Going the Garden Province route – from a Gold Circle Press Release of earlier today:

      Snaith did, however, declare that his top filly Bela-Bela, a super third in the Rising Sun, would not contest the premier event but would go for the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes where she would meet the facile winner of the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes, Just Sensual, from the Joey Ramsden yard.

    2. Hey Gavs – surely must have been the worst kept secret around that she was never going to run in the VDJ. In the past few weeks she has hardly moved from between 40/1 – 50/1 in the ante-post market despite being undoubtedly the best filly over ground in South Africa. Don’t worry about the cash that you have done on her in the ante-post market on the July because you will recoup it all when she comes home lonely in the Garden Province Stakes on the 1st of July.

  2. The reality is that Black Arthur has had exactly 5 runs in the last year and finished 7th, then 5th, then 7th, then 10th and then 3rd in the Cup Trial grade 3, competing in a field of 9 where only 1 horse (Elusive Silva) was in the log, at 20th position.

    Should the selection panel look at the betting or should they look objectively at Black Arthur’s actual form?

    Should the panel take into account emotion and subjectivity “I thought he may have beaten” ; “He just needed his second run” ; “I will have him spot on” ; “He is going to take some beating” or decide based on actual results in the last year?

    It would be grossly unfair to other horses trying to get in if the selection panel did not base their selection on actual results.

  3. I agree.
    Actual form instead of supposed ability should be the only criterion.
    Snaith Racing is really putting on a determined marketing strategy to convince the powers that be.

    1. Agreed, although in that case consideration should also be given to omitting the likes of French Navy, Brazuca and Saratoga Dancer whose recent form is pretty dismal. Following developments over the weekend however with the rather poor efforts of Liege, Master Switch and Nebula together with the scratchings yesterday of Orchid Island and Captain America and Snaith’s indication that Bela Bela will not take her part in the VDJ I would suggest that Black Arthur will now quite comfortably be selected in the final field.

  4. Black Arthur is a threat in the July and from that point of view would like to see him get a run. However, I would have little sympathy if he is excluded on overall recent form.Its not like the connections did not know that with sparse form, relying on a single performance was a risk.
    Based on the withdrawals though, the field does look a bit weaker ands there’s every chance he gets in,as at least he did show he is on the up.

  5. can some one please update me with the latest horses of the 2017 July and from my side Bela Bela have a good chance of preforming to her peak

    1. Field announced next Tuesday 20 June:

      0 0 Master Sabina 57.5 110 T A …………… Justin Snaith
      0 0 Marinaresco 60 115 BA …………… Candice Bass-Robinson
      0 0 French Navy 57.5 110 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Bela-Bela 57 109 A …………… Justin Snaith
      0 0 Brazuca (AUS) 56.5 108 A …………… Johan Janse van Vuuren
      0 0 Krambambuli 56 107 A …………… Justin Snaith
      0 0 Saratoga Dancer 56 107 A C Zackey Duncan Howells
      0 0 The Conglomerate (AUS) 56 107 T A …………… Joey Ramsden
      0 0 It’s My Turn 55.5 106 A P Strydom Justin Snaith
      0 0 Ten Gun Salute (AUS) 55.5 106 T A M Yeni Duncan Howells
      0 0 Nightingale 55 105 A …………… Candice Bass-Robinson
      0 0 Black Arthur 54.5 104 A G van Niekerk Justin Snaith
      0 0 Edict Of Nantes 54 107 A A Marcus Brett Crawford
      0 0 Witchcraft 54 103 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Al Sahem 53.5 106 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Liege 53.5 102 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Mr Winsome 53.5 102 A Dean Kannemeyer
      0 0 Banner Hill 53 99 A …………… Glen Kotzen
      0 0 Coral Fever 53 93 A Robbie Sage
      0 0 Elusive Silva 53 101 A R Fourie Justin Snaith
      0 0 Horizon 53 100 A …………… Candice Bass-Robinson
      0 0 Macduff (AUS) 53 88 A …………… Joey Ramsden
      0 0 Master Switch 53 100 T A …………… Geoff Woodruff
      0 0 Nebula 53 101 A G Cheyne Brett Crawford
      0 0 Pagoda 53 101 BA C Maujean Geoff Woodruff
      0 0 Royal Badge 53 95 A …………… Adam Marcus
      0 0 The Elmo Effect 53 91 BA …………… Gary Alexander
      0 0 Tilbury Fort 53 100 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Girl On The Run 52 98 A …………… Johan Janse van Vuuren
      0 0 Safe Harbour 52 103 T A …………… Sean Tarry
      0 0 Trophy Wife 52 99 A …………… Sean Tarry

      Runners left In Race: 31 – 20 will be carded – only 18 start though

  6. I think Al Sahem carrying 53.5 of a 106 rating should take all the beating. Especially if Delpech rides. Does anyone share the same sentiments?

  7. Agree I think Al Sahem big runner – looking at early entries I would say the 4 I like at this stage – Al Sahem , Edict Of Nantes , Marinaresco and Ten Gun Salute . So tired of listening to Black Arthur excuses !

  8. The final field for the July will always be a hotly debated topic, but I agree with the comments that the field should be picked on recent form and not on a promise of past reputations. Trainers try to map the easiest path to the July for their horse and hope to pick up as few penalties on the way as possible. In the case of Black Arthur it has backfired, on his allotted weight he would be a massive runner but he has done NOTHING to enhance his merit to line up for the July. If he had won one of the qualifying races for the July ( as is correct and fair) then he would be carrying 58 or more. What would his chances be then?

  9. I Think the case against Black Arthur is strong, However, do i think he would be a big runner at the weights in the July? yes i do.. The selection panel have a hard job, i wouldn’t like to be in their shoes will they only select on form or will they also select on a horses chance of coming to form with it being well in at the weights. I personally would like to see Black Arthur run,

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