The R1 million Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge is the penultimate July golden ticket and with eight big race hopefuls in the line-up, the weight-for-age mile is set for a thrilling battle of the heavyweights.
Recent Drill Hall Stakes sensation Marinaresco has drawn beautifully at 2 and looks well set to secure what many may regard as an overdue second career Gr1 success.
He has only tasted defeat once in four Greyville starts – that being a second to The Conglomerate in the 2016 July.
The SP top-rated in the field of fourteen is last year’s boardroom loser Trip To Heaven.
The highly accomplished sprinter is a notorious slow starter and failed to kick when out of the money in the recent Computaform Sprint.
A length or two loss at the start will be of little consequence over this trip and S’manga Khumalo knows this 120 rated class act well.
The 6yo Captain America is one of the most gutsy horses around and returns for his first Durban trip since 2014.
A dangerous up –with-the- pace type, his prep run in the Drill Hall was top class and he would not be a surprise winner.
Giantkiller Deo Juvente has been withdrawn and July candidate The Conglomerate gets a run. His recent form has been quiet.
Second of the Brett Crawford attack is the very game and tough customer Sail South, who was under a half length back in the Drill Hall blanket finish.
On his best form he is probably most effective at 1400m but must have place prospects.
Anthony Delpech rides the champion filly Bela-Bela, who ran a very decent race at her last start in the SA Fillies Sprint.
That was her first run since a four length Sun Met unplaced effort and this could be the July dealmaker if she comes through it with flying colours.
The dual Gr1 winner French Navy gets the blinkers on and always rates a threat at Greyville – having run on for third last year behind Mac De Lago.
His last three runs have hinted at a form return and winless since January 2016, he is overdue to score. Chase Maujean gets a big chance.
The 7yo Master Sabina has his first run for Justin Snaith and gets the advantage of a pole position draw.
The dual Summer Cup title holder ran a decent enough race in the Champions Challenge when on top of the placed horses.
New Predator finished fourth in this race last year and ran a cracker when under a half length fourth in the Drill Hall Stakes last time out. Discounting his awful draw, he would rate a major threat on his best form.
Victorious Jay was a few lengths off the best in his 3yo year but has developed into a hardknocking 4yo.
The draw will count against him here but he will enjoy plenty of support after his near giant killing act when going down narrowly in the Drill Hall last time out.
The Gr2 Colorado King Stakes winner Brazuca faded late in the Premiers Champions Challenge but impressed at his only start at this track.
The son of Teofilo was a runner-up in the (then) Gr1 Golden Horseshoe as a maiden in 2015 and could be a dark horse in a wide open race.
Bulleting Home is the third of the Tarry runners and is drawn wide.
The son of Western Winter ran on well in the Tsogo Sun Sprint and could boost the quartets with a similar performance here.
Saratoga Dancer ran an excellent race after being slow away when flying up for third in the Drill Hall Stakes at his last start.
The son of Mambo In Seattle has run two fair races since an unplaced effort when 7,30 lengths behind Master Sabina in the Summer Cup.
Mike de Kock’s dual Guineas winner Janoobi returns to the scene of his superb tactical triumph at his penultimate start and a line can be drawn through the son of Silvano’s last run, when outpaced in the Tsogo Sun Sprint. He is the only 3yo in the race.
An enthusiastic front-runner, his wide draw is a negative, but not the end of the world.
Past July winner The Conglomerate, his stablemate Table Bay and No Worries are the reserve runners.
Trip To Heaven and Marinaresco are the top choices, with the likes of French Navy, New Predator and Bela-Bela representing the dangers. Brazuca and Janoobi are the value horses.