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Lerena Gets July Plum

Owner & trainer under impresssion Marcus would ride

Gavin Lerena will be riding the Eric Sands-trained Rainbow Bridge in the Vodacom Durban July.

Sands and owner Mike Rattray had been under the impression Anton Marcus would be aboard their charge Rainbow Bridge.

However, Marcus made his intentions of riding Hawwaam clear even before he rode Rainbow Bridge in the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge on Saturday.

Sands said he would not want somebody on his horse who did not want to be there and a replacement was sought.

Lerena had stated some time ago he would jump at the opportunity to ride Rainbow Bridge in the July, although at the time of making that statement he was probably not reckoning with Hawwaam being in the big race.

Lerena was originally the regular rider of Hawwaam but as he is retained by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Studs he had to ride Cascapedia in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge in early May and thus lost the Hawwaam ride to Marcus.

Hawwaam duly won the Champions Challenge and De Kock stuck with Marcus for the Grade 1 Daily News 2000, which Hawwaam also won.

.Rainbow Bridge (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Sands said he had been “a little disappointed” with Rainbow Bridge’s third place finish in the Gold Challenge on Saturday.

He said, “I would like to see what the result would have been with a clear run.”

Rainbow Bridge’s path was blocked by a hanging in Cirillo just as he was coming to challenge the eventual winner Do It Again. Marcus had to check and switch outward.

Sands was surprised Rainbow Bridge, under the circumstances, was still able to rally back for third.

He said Marcus’ only comment after the race was, “He definitely needs further.”

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Rainbow Bridge was seen to be a little bit keen in the running early on when Marcus reined him back in order to slot in to a midfield position.

However, in Sands’ opinion the Ideal World gelding did not “over race.”

He said, “He is the sort of horse if you just touch his mouth he will lift his head, but I don’t think he was fighting.”

Rainbow Bridge will receive half-a-kilogram from Do It Again in the July.

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15 comments on “Lerena Gets July Plum

  1. David says:

    Bring him home Gavin.

  2. Ronnie says:

    Good choice at least we a July race on our hands but Hawwaam still looks a champion. Seeing Hawwaam in action it could win the July by about 3 lengths

  3. Brian says:

    You bet Gavin. Bring him home!!!

  4. Nadine Backos says:

    Gav will bring our champ Rainbow Bridge home.

  5. mike says:

    yes gavin will bring him home ,no second or third this time round rainbow bridge will get what he deserves

  6. mike says:

    there is no second or third gavin will do it

  7. Logan says:


  8. Bob Kistnasamy says:

    Why not, Bernard Faydherbe? And he has a decent record in the July
    He has ridden the horse to previous victories.

  9. gavin says:

    so why allow anton to ride the horse in the rising sun… surely gavin would have been a better choice …

  10. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Logan, Magnificent Seven will make the field, it won some good races under the radar. This horse was mentioned by Mr Snaith as a ‘big runner’ a while ago. I agree he is upset material

  11. Cecil Pienaar says:

    ” Trainer and owner under the impression Mr Marcus would ride ”

    ” However Mr Marcus made his intentions clear he would ride Hawwaam before he rode R B in the….”

    If you wanna know something, just ask….

    Rainbow Bridge’s build up to Met was very similar to this July, placings and Jock change.

    Indeed a plum ride for Mr Lerena – Well done and Good Luck. Everything happens for a reason.

    Mr Snaith, Pls can Mr D. Dillon ride Magnificent Seven, alternatively the young gun Ferraris.

    July fever

  12. Verlynn Johnson says:

    Bit Disappointed and sad how this year have been treating Eric Sands, 1st Bernard left him for dubia and Anton ditch him for Hawwaam. Can you find loyalty in the sport where one will stick by a horse no matter what? Gavin bring the Champ home on July day…

  13. John adams says:

    Rainbow bridge will cut back the deficit

  14. Tracy Low says:

    DId i miss something was there a race review in the rising sun ? I thought Marcus comment after the race of needing further was about as educated as they get….. why state the pure obvious why didnt he put his hand up and say he made the wrong call to go inwards had he just stayed straight we would have seen a race unfold .Gavin on board great news chalk it up to a grass gallop and lets get back to buisness now.

    1. Editor says:

      Approaching the 150m RAINBOW BRIDGE (A Marcus) was hanging in and shifted inwards. Simultaneously DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie) shifted outwards which resulted in LADY IN BLACK (S Veale) being inconvenienced, having to ease and DO IT AGAIN (R Fourie) and RAINBOW BRIDGE (A Marcus) making contact.

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