The traditional Gauteng hosted last chance saloon for the Vodacom Durban July, the R250 000 Gr3 Jubilee Handicap, provides the winner with a ‘preferential consideration’ passport to the big race.
Only three of the twelve carded runners for today’s headline handicap on the eight-race programme on the Turffontein standside track are entered for the July.
Hero’s Honour and Barahin are at 14 and 15 position respectively on the big race standings published at 13h00 last Monday, while The Dazzler is lurking in the no-man’s land ‘dirty dozen’ fringe group.
So there is plenty to play for.
Last season’s surprise SA Derby winner, the lightly raced Hero’s Honour has shown his versatility, winning 2 of his subsequent 5 starts at a mile. The son of Await The Dawn could play himself into contention for the July by reinforcing his log standing with a big effort.
The De Kock duo of The Dazzler and the 3yo Barahin are both capable of a big effort.
A top-class 2yo, Barahin – once mentioned as a De Kock July Dark Horse – has been well beaten – albeit placed – in the Gauteng Guineas and the SA Classic this year and gets the services of Anton Marcus. While he has some improvement to make against the older horses, he must have an outstanding chance if finding his feet under Anton Marcus.
Stablemate The Dazzler chased the improved Divine Odyssey home in the Drum Star and the Colorado King Stakes and the consistent son of Mogok needs a big win to endorse his July involvement.
One of three Tarry runners, Captain And Master tries further again after returning from a quiet KZN campaign – where his best was a second cheque behind Cup Trial runner and subsequent Byerley Turk winner, Tristful.
Declared without blinkers after winning his last two wearing them, Stuart Pettigrew’s Soldier On is a useful son of Brave Tin Soldier, who boasts an impressive 6 victories from his 14 starts.
The Azzie’s Dynasty filly Flying Fable has been well beaten at feature level against her own sex at her last two stats and looks to have some ground to make up to be competitive here.
Her former stablemate Arctica is yet to click for his new yard and looks unlikely to trouble the top few on current form.
Recent shock Syringa Handicap winner Being Fabulous gets the blinkers removed after responding to a change of riding tactics from a wide draw when clinching her first stakes win. She carries a handy 52kgs galloping weight.
All of Shenanigans, Infamous Fox (his favourite jockey MJ Byleveld travels up from the Cape to ride him again!) and the Tarry 3yo Royal Italian would have chances on their best form.
The staying sort Banner Hill has his second run after a long rest.
Hero’s Honour and Barahin look the likely duo to slug this out. Beyond them, The Dazzler and Soldier On are worthy of inclusion in exotics.