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Gold Challenge Final Field

No Barrier Trial certificate presents poser

Champion trainer Sean Tarry has two runners in Saturday’s Gr1 Gold Challenge field, including his Vodacom Durban July candidate Liege and crack but off-form sprinter Trip To Heaven.

According to a Gold Circle Press Release published on Monday, the five-year-old Dynasty gelding Liege has not raced since winning the Gr1 Summer Cup in November and thus technically should not be allowed to race on Saturday.

The Sporting Post notes that Liege – as in the example of Legislate – is subject to a Barrier Trial in terms of the local condition introduced with effect from 1 March 2018. The condition states that any unraced horses or raced horses returning after a rest of 150 days or more, participating in KwaZulu-Natal, must have a valid Barrier Trial Certificate.

Horses have to run within 60 days of their trials, calculated to the acceptance date.



Liege wins the Summer Cup – hasn’t been seen since

However, discussions were taking place between Gold Circle and the National Horseracing Authority on the gelding’s participation on Saturday, which is his July prep.

Something of a catch 22 for the connections?

Ed – note that on 5 June, Liege was withdrawn


WFA: 2yrs-10.5kgs 3yrs-1.5kgs
No Apprentice Allowance
1 4 Captain America 60 124 A …………… Brett Crawford
2 1 Sail South 60 123 A B Fayd’Herbe Brett Crawford
3 8 Gold Standard 60 117 BA R Fourie Glen Kotzen
4 9 Copper Force 60 111 A C Murray Justin Snaith
5 6 Liege 60 110 T A *L Hewitson Sean Tarry
6 7 Trip To Heaven 60 110 T A S Khumalo Sean Tarry
7 2 Undercover Agent 58.5 111 A …………… Brett Crawford
8 5 Roy Had Enough (AUS) 58.5 110 A S Veale Frank Robinson
9 3 Snowdance 56 114 A G van Niekerk Justin Snaith
(1,2,7) (4,9) (5,6)

A compact field of nine runners, including the exciting three-year-old filly Snowdance, will face the starter for the R1-million final July golden ticket run over 1600m at Greyville on Saturday where a total of 10 Vodacom Durban July hopefuls will feature on the programme in a final bid for a place in the premier event on July 7.

Just three July contenders will compete in the Rising Sun Gold Challenge with the other seven running in the R300 000, Grade 3 Cup Trial over 1 800m which has a field of 12 that includes the favourite for Africa’s greatest race, African Night Sky.

Forella beats Snowdance in the Dasy Fillies Guineas

Snowdance, the Justin Snaith-trained winner of the Cape Fillies Guineas and the Majorca Stakes before being upstaged in the Daisy Fillies Guineas at Greyville by Fiorella, is supported in the race by stable companion Copper Force but the pair face a formidable team of three from the Brett Crawford yard comprising Captain America, Sail South and Undercover Agent.

None are July entries but all three are highly accomplished in their careers with the three-year-old just being touched off by Perovskia in the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes and the other two finishing within a length off Legal Eagle in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.

The Cup Trial will be followed with great interest with July favourite African Night Sky in the field.

The four-year-old Dynasty gelding was just touched off by Star Express in a Pinnacle Stakes race over 1 600m in his only local run this season but is highly rated on his exposed ability and as long as he gives a good account of himself on Saturday his July place is secure.

.2017 Highlands Winter Series star African Night Sky

Among his opposition is the Russian Sage gelding Perovskia from the Harold Crawford stable that caused an upset when winning the Independent Of Saturday Drill Hall Stakes and the Querari gelding Head Honcho that has won his last three starts including the Sledgehammer.

R300 000 CUP TRIAL (Grade 3)
WFA: 2yrs-11.5kgs 3yrs-2kgs
No Apprentice Allowance
1 8 Celtic Captain 60 110 A B Lerena Mark Dixon
2 2 Perovskia 59.5 109 A C Murray Harold Crawford
3 11 African Night Sky 59 108 A G van Niekerk Justin Snaith
4 5 Mambo Mime 57 104 A W Kennedy Dean Kannemeyer
5 1 Crowd Pleaser 56 102 A R Danielson J A Janse van Vuuren
6 9 Platinum Prince 55.5 101 BA R Fourie Justin Snaith
7 6 Wild Wicket 55 100 BA M Yeni Duncan Howells
8 12 Cape Speed 54 98 BA S Randolph +0.5 Dean Kannemeyer
9 10 Head Honcho 54 98 T A K de Melo Andre Nel
10 4 Ollivander 53 96 BA M Byleveld Candice Bass-Robinson
11 3 Summer Sky 53 96 BA *L Hewitson Dean Kannemeyer
12 7 Roy’s Riviera (AUS) 52 96 A S Veale Frank Robinson
(3,6) (4,8,11)

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4 comments on “Gold Challenge Final Field

  1. hilton witz says:

    The rules are horses returning back from 150 day rest have to have a barrier trial not 120 days ..i recall the strathdon incident whereby he returned from a rest of 154 days but gold circle then said its from the date of its last run to the date of nomination for its next race..mr jay harrielal confirmed this was a grey area and nowhere in the rules ..i wonder what excuse they will come up with now as liege last ran 183 days from his summer cup run to the date of nomination ..

  2. Hylton says:

    So if Goldcircle allows Liege to run this Grade 1 race as a prep, by breaking the rules that they set out, does this mean that the horse is not guarrenteed to run place or win, after all Goldcircle is a bookmaker and the punters does not know the well being of the horse, so the odds are stacked in the bookmakers favour if the horse is ready to win this race or is on the needle for the July

  3. My Frankel says:

    The connections of Liege are not in a catch 22 situation. It is the Racing Authority and Gold Circle that have a problem. As things stand Liege cannot and should not run. If Liege runs all our fears of racing being captured will be confirmed as real.

  4. Andre says:

    This exact scenario came up at a merting regarding Barrier Trials held at the Saddlers Arms at Greyville Race Course last week which was chaired by Robert Mauvis.In tbis meeting it was mentioned tbar Karen Anthony was made to barrier trial one of her horses that had relocated from another province who had a rest of more than the prescribed period.Why should Liege/Mr Tarry/Mr Van Niekerk be subject to differnt rules.Liege should be subject to a barrier trial before it is allowed to run.Numerous trainers including Paul Gadsby…Doug Campbell …Garth Puller….were present together with Mr Nairac from Gold Circle….

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