The Vodacom Durban July plot has thickened – from a ‘one horse’ race into at the very least, a four-horse festival.
That was the word from Hollywoodbets veteran Patrick Bradley when asked for his view on the impact of two great day’s of racing over the weekend.
Bradley, who has priced up on more Julys than most of us have had breakfasts, had a few interesting observations on the leading contenders for glory and turf lore on 6 July.
He suggests that recent Daily News winner Hawwaam (2-1) will still be the people’s choice, but now has some very serious competition. He goes so far as to suggest that he will really need to be the ‘new Horse Chestnut’ to substantiate his short-price favouritism.
Sunday’s lightly raced Jubilee Handicap winner Barahin (5-1), also from the De Kock stable, has played himself into serious contention.
“All along the De Kock stable said he was their July horse”, he points out.
Bradley suggests that the trick for punters will now be to try and work out whether a 3kg pull with Hawwaam is enough to secure Africa’s greatest horseracing prize.
He says that Saturday’s Gr1 Gold Challenge winner Do It Again (3,57-1) is as good as anything seen in South Africa in the last decade – almost understatedly labelling him a ‘serious, proven racehorse’.
But, he reminds punters that the July is a handicap and there may well be plenty of value amongst some of the other well-performed keenly weighted sorts at double figure odds – the likes of 5yo Magnficent Seven and the his 4yo stablemates Made To Conquer and Doublemint, to mention a few..
Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge (5-1) had no luck in the running in the Gold Challenge and has to be given a chance to find his wings over the 2200m of the July.
There is plenty of unresolved speculation as to who will ride the Eric Sands gelding and Bradley is convinced there is nothing much between the two of them.
He adds that more than half the field will be under sufferance at the weights and there is lots of potential value to be had for punters with a personal preference outside of the ‘big four’.
“Draws and luck in running could prove critical – Barahin draws 2 and Hawwaam draws 18, as an example – suddenly there is lots to play for!”
Bradley, who watched his first July when Tiger Fish won in 1959, says that it has become quite a tricky race to price up.
“The market is now going to be determined by supply and demand.I don’t think the public has had it so good for some time,” he added.
Please note that quoted prices are subject to change*