Confusion at Vodacom Durban July first entries

Confusion reigned when the first entries for Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event, the 2011 Vodacom Durban July, were announced at a function in Durban yesterday as the 43 entries for the R3-million extravaganza did not include a single runner from the stable of champion trainer Mike de Kock.

Past Master - Gr1 J&B Met winner

As the internationally acclaimed, globe-trotting conditioner had won the country’s premier race with Ipi Tombe, Greys Inn and last year with Bold Silvano, everyone was waiting with anticipation to see which of his runners would be aimed at the big race.

In particular, everyone was looking to the star filly Igugu to be among the entries and Michael Weare of Betting World said the filly’s exclusion from the early entries had thrown the ante-post betting scene into a spin as they had priced her up as 5-1 favourite when framing the odds which open on Friday (April 15).

But the entries include some exciting horses, none more than the Tony Rivalland-trained Royal Zulu Warrior who is unbeaten in three sprint races and the unbeaten Ice Axe from the Charles Laird yard.

Big City Life, who won the race in 2009, has been nominated by trainer Glen Kotzen and the talk is that the horse is back to his best.

Dancewiththedevil - dual Gr1 winner

Another exciting entry is that of Dancewiththedevil from the stable of St John Gray. The filly has won two Grade 1 feature races in the last month and looks to be something very special.

Mike Bass, who has won the Vodacom Durban July three times with Trademark, Dunford and Pocket Power, has entered English Garden that travelled from the Cape to Gauteng to win the SA Classic as well as a very promising Australian import, Castlethorpe.

Also from the Cape comes another horse with great potential in Il Saggiatore from the stable of Joey Ramsden while Justin Snaith has nominated his star three-year-old Run For It who ran close up in the Grade 1 J&B Met in January.

Pierre Jourdan, the darling of the Highveld, is back in top condition and has been entered by Gary Alexander.

While De Kock has not entered any runners at this stage, there is little doubt that they will be nominated at the first or final supplementary stages which close on May 10 and June 6 respectively. It is understood that the owners of Igugu are very keen for the filly to take her place in the big race field and the country will be waiting to see what other runners De Kock has earmarked for the race.

The full list of first entries for the R3-million, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July to be run over 2 200m at Greyville in Durban on Saturday, July 2, is as follows:

HORSE                    TRAINER          M/R
 BIG CITY LIFE            Glen Kotzen      116
 BOUQUET-GARNI            Gavin van Zyl     96
 BRAVURA                  Joey Ramsden     110
 BROWN PENNY              Mike Bass         88
 BULSARA                  Gavin van Zyl    107
 CASK                     Stephen Page     100
 CASTLETHORPE (AUS)       Mike Bass         97
 CHINDIT                  Charles Laird     90
 DANCEWITHTHEDEVIL        St John Gray     111
 EMERALD COVE             Justin Snaith    106
 ENGLISH GARDEN           Mike Bass        108
 EXTRA COVER              Alec Laird        84
 FORT VOGUE               Mike Bass        104
 GALILEO'S DESTINY        Charles Laird    104
 GALILEO'S GALAXY (AUS)   Charles Laird    103
 GOAT                     Paul Lafferty    101
 GOLD ONYX (NZ)           Sean Tarry        96
 GOLDEN CHARIOT           Sean Tarry        98
 GREY COSSACK             Carl J Burger     90
 HAMMIE'S BOY             Mike Bass         96
 HAPPY LANDING            Joe Soma          96
 ICE AXE                  Charles Laird     93
 IL SAGGIATORE (AUS)      Joey Ramsden     102
 IN WRITING (ARG)         Dean Kannemeyer  103
 JET JAMBOREE             Dominic Zaki      88
 LION IN WINTER           Joey Ramsden     108
 M'LORDS THROAT           Glen Kotzen      102
 MAHOGANY                 Weiho Marwing     86
 MASAI WARRIOR            Mike Azzie        84
 MYSTIC MOON              Greg Ennion      103
 PAST MASTER              Darryl Hodgson   115
 PIERRE JOURDAN           Gary Alexander   110
 POWER PARK               Sean Tarry        95
 REGAL RANSOM             Sean Tarry       106
 ROMAN WALL               Sean Tarry        98
 ROYAL ARROW (AUS)        Geoff Woodruff    87
 ROYAL ZULU WARRIOR       Tony Rivalland    92
 RUN FOR IT               Justin Snaith    111
 SOLO TRAVELLER           Justin Snaith    108
 SUPER STORM              Mike Bass         99
 THE APACHE               Gavin van Zyl    107
 WE THREE                 Justin Snaith    102
 ZORBA'S TALE (AUS)       Lucky Houdalakis 104
(43 Entries)


  • First Supplementary Entries closes at 11am on Tuesday, 10 May 2011
  • Final Supplementary Entries closes at 11am on Monday, 6 June 2011
  • Weights to be published on Tuesday, 7 June 2011
  • First Declarations closes at 11am on Thursday, 9 June 2011
  • Final Declarations closes at 11am on Tuesday, 14 June 2011
  • Final Field and Draw Announcement will take place on Wednesday, 15 June 2011
  • PUBLIC GALLOPS will take place on Thursday, 23 June 2011

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