Clifton’s Flag Man Now In Hollywoodbets Durban July Picture

Countdown to 6 July

The outstanding exploits of Mrs Geriatrix put Clifton Stud back in the breeding headlines and now a horse bred at their KZN farm is third favourite for the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

David Mollett writes that prior to Saturday’s Daily News 2000, Flag Man – a R100 000 son of Flying The Flag – was regarded as an improving three year-old in Gareth Van Zyl’s stable, but wasn’t in the thinking of pundits as far as the July 6 race was concerned.

Flag Man (Serino Moodley, in blue) keeps Green With Envy honest in Saturday’s Gr Daily News 2000 (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

The gelding’s July price on Saturday morning was 50-1.

In their latest markets, both July sponsor, Hollywoodbets, and World Sports Betting have Flag Man as third favourite at 10-1. He gave supporters of odds-on favourite, Green With Envy, a real fright and the latter’s price has eased fractionally to 5-2.

Many moons ago in 1998, Classic Flag (Anthony Delpech) delighted Peter and Jenny Blyth when winning the July – could Flag Man follow in his footsteps? There was certainly lots to like about his performance in Saturday’s Gr 1 race under a positive ride from Serino Moodley.

The Sporting Post described Green With Envy’s performance as ‘mission accomplished’, which was probably kind, as the favourite’s backers were ready to call the paramedics with the Cape Derby winner in last place!

The Khaya stables owned and bred got home in the end, but didn’t impress a number of observers.

Michael Jacobs posted on the SP website: “Unlikely to win the July, struggled to beat a MR 92. Going to have to lift his game considerably to make an impression in the July.”

In my book, that’s fair comment and I’m quite happy with my antepost voucher of 6-1 a place about Without Question. Interestingly, the Snaith inmate is now 20-1 with Hollywoodbets and 25-1 with World Sports Betting.

Prior to Saturday’s race, Hluhluwe was being put forward as the possible surprise package but the Trippi gelding’s limitations were exposed as he trailed nearly seven lengths behind the winner on Saturday. Barbaresco finished a creditable third, but SA Derby runner-up Pure Predator was never a serious threat in fourth.

Mike De Kock notched another Gr1 with Silver Sanctuary’s win in the Woolavington Stakes, with the daughter of Silvano earning a 33-1 quote for the July. The Garden Province Stakes looks a more likely target.

Mike de Kock – decisions to make for Silver Sanctuary after her good win (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

This writer wasn’t the only one who fancied Saartjie to run a big race – Richard Fourie considered the filly his biggest danger – but Andre Nel’s meeting went from bad to worse.

First Cape Eagle was ruled out of the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup after a TC02 test, then Corne Orffer found himself the meat in the sandwich when commencing his move in the Woolavington.

Frances Ethel was sent out 2-1 favourite but had to settle for fourth place and the jury is out as to whether this has been another shrewd purchase by Team Valor’s Barry Irwin. What we do know is that this looks an enterprising piece of business by racing expert, Grant Knowles.

Irwin bought Ipi Tombe after her 2002 July triumph and she went on to win a race at the historic Churchill Downs track in Kentucky.

After that piece of business, the Team Valor website reported that “Bred in Zimbabwe, Ipi Tombe has given breeders around the world cause to reconsider their notions where a good horse can be found.”

Prophetic words as former Zimbabwean star, Down To Business, took top honours in the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup. The four year-old is out of the mare Keep On Dreaming and that is exactly what the four year-old’s owners will be doing ahead of the Gold Cup at the end of July.

In the post race interview, it was clear trainer Peter Muscutt has a close bond with the three owners of Down To Business, who cost just R15000 as a yearling.

They pocketed R125 000 for Saturday’s win and a far bigger cheque awaits if successful on July 27.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts