With some big feature racing this weekend and the Vodacom Durban July first entries due on Monday morning, the debate as to the composition of the final field for the 2020 renewal of Africa’s Greatest Horserace will gain momentum this week.
The Gr1 feature will be contested at Hollywoodbets Greyville on 25 July behind closed doors, for the first time in history.
While all local field sizes are restricted in terms of lockdown level 3 protocols to 12 for non-features and 14 for stakes races, it is hoped that by the time of the running of the July it will be possible to accommodate 18 runners, with general field sizes by that time at a 14 maximum, and graded features at 16.
Former SA Champion trainer Justin Snaith will bid for a third successive win in the big race this year and he had two of his July candidates out on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf prior to racing on Sunday.
Dual July star Do It Again, bidding for a historic third straight success, and his Peninsula Handicap winning stablemate Belgarion galloped over a mile and Snaith was particularly thrilled to get Belgarion stretching for his first time at the City venue.
A lightly raced progressive sort, Belgarion has not raced on a right-handed track previously,
Belgarion is third favourite in the July ante-post betting with Saturday’s Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winner Hawwaam and Sun Met runner-up Rainbow Bridge above him.
Snaith Racing reported that Anton Marcus was pleased with Do it Again, who seems to be returning to himself and put in a great effort.
“His run in the Gold Challenge on 28 June will tell us everything and punters should wait until then,” said the statement.
Athandiwe Mgudlwa said Belgarion, winner of his last three starts, and a horse marked as a genuine contender for the big race, moved up beautifully alongside Do it Again and this son of Dynasty will be an interesting proposition for the 2200m event on 25 July.
The KZN racing operator Gold Circle, together with the company’s big race sponsor Vodacom, recently publically reaffirmed their commitment to running the 2020 Vodacom Durban July.
The July ante-post betting will be available again after entries are in on Monday.