July Gallops – Does the clock rock?

VDJ Gallops 23 June

Future Perfect? Past Master impressed.

Thursday 23 June.

A crisp beautiful Durban morning. Greyville Racecourse.  The July Gallops. Are they just another  scene in the real-life drama that is the Vodacom Durban July or,  looking beyond the free sticky buns and coffee,  do they provide  form-students with serious food for thought?

Timekeeping is an art and a science. To serve any purpose for critical analysis and relative deduction it needs to be enacted with clinical precision.  A couple of officials casually waving flags at the 800m and 400m marker, while the timekeeper sits with a stop-watch at a distance means  that the published times could well be a second or two out. Which then  makes it a senseless exercise. Some of the participants were also put under more pressure than others and racing styles and inherent pace differ markedly. That is to be expected. Thus a pure comparison may be meaningless and we may as well just go on a bit of gut feel and what we saw in the look.

Both Bravura and Past Master put in what we thought were encouraging efforts . Past Master particularly put his Gold Challenge nightmare behind him and the going and conditions obviously did not suit him that day.  Castlethorpe and Lion In Winter put up the fastest 400m to finish times.  Lion In Winter really looked well and strode magnificently. Igugu and Flirtation worked together. Flirtation dwarfs her and has a great stride but Igugu was looking around and pricking her ears. She looks a picture of well-being.

Our Gallops notebook:

Bravura with Anton Marcus up had the stayer Predestination tagging him along as he went at a canter from the 1600m on his first gallop on a right handed turn. The pair stepped up the pace at the 800m mark although only at a reasonable gallop in the final 200m. An eyecatching gallop.

800m to finish: 47,31

400m to finish: 22,90

Black Wing with Kevin Shea up worked alone from the 1800m. He stretched nicely without overdoing things. An average gallop

800m to finish: 47,78

400m to finish: 23,56

Lion  In Winter with Glen Hatt up did an easy canter from the 1800m and stretched a little more from the 600m. At the 400m he turned it on and stretched out well. A very impressive gallop.

800m to finish: 47,94

400m to finish: 22,33

Captain’s Wild galloped from the 1400m with Randall Simons up in company with the stayer Ilsanpietro and Billy Jacobson.  They drew level at about the 400m and went neck and neck to the line. Gave nothing away.

800m to finish: 47,79

400m to finish: 24,20

Big City Life had Andrew Fortune in the saddle and a set of blinkers on as he galloped from the 1600m with Thunder Creek. Big City Life went past his partner at the 300m but it was not a striking performance by any means and he didn’t quicken up like we know he can. Did the blinker trick work? We can’t really say.

800m to finish: 47,31

400m to finish: 22,94

Igugu worked with regular rider Anthony Delpech up in tandem with Flirtation from the 1600m. Igugu’s ears were pricked and she looked well and full of the joys of life. She beat her partner by a length and was gearing down at the line. She was not put under too much pressure. An eyecatcher!

800m to finish: 47,03

400m to finish: 23,13

Flirtation as said worked with Igugu and had Gavin Lerena up. She worked well without being put under stress and is a really magnificent specimen with a stride from Durban to Dakar. She has gone up in our estimation.

800m to finish: 47,12

400m to finish: 23,25

Past Master worked  from the 1400m with Gerrit Schlecter up and with Foreign Sovereign  and Andrew Fortune.   They went a  slow canter and crawled past the 900m. At the 400m Past Master glided past his stablemate and strode out well with ears pricked. A great gallop and the 16-1 won’t last long we reckon.

800m to finish: 47,50

400m to finish: 22,62

English Garden had Karl Neisius up as he galloped from the 1400m with Golden Parachute and MJ Byleveld . Neisius squeezed him at the 300m and he picked it up with the Cape veteran rider sitting dead still. An above average effort.

800m to finish: 48,03

400m to finish: 23,16

The Apache galloped alone from the 1400m with Raymond Danielson up. He slowed down dramatically late for some reason. An average gallop.

800m to finish: 49,56

400m to finish: 24,40

Bulsara was sweating up visibly as he galloped alone from the 1400m with Bernard Fayd’Herbe up. He stretched out well and strode nicely. This was better than expected.

800m to finish: 48,62

400m to finish: 24,66

Castlethorpe galloped with Karis Teetan up and was placed just behind his companion Croc valley with Karl Neisius in the saddle. His head was tucked in on his chest before they picked it up turning for home as he scooted down the inside. The two finished the gallop together and it is very difficult to guage the strength of his effort as they went slowly early.

800m to finish: 47,75

400m to finish: 22,27

Run For It had Felix Coetzee up as he galloped from the 1200m with Dance With Al and MJ Byleveld. The son of Dynasty led his companion and was eased up at the line. He looked very well

800m to finish: 48,78

400m to finish: 25,34

Safwan galloped with  Billy Jacobson up from the 1400m with Gallileo’s Destiny and Kevin Shea.  He put in an average effort and was beaten by his companion. He remains a longshot for us.  He went through the ring at the 2011 Super Sale in Durban this afternoon unsold with a highest bid of R300 000,  so will still run in the blue and yellow silks on 2 July.

800m to finish: 47,31

400m to finish: 23,22

Galileo’s Destiny, as mentioned, galloped with Safwan and overshadowed him. He strode out well and looks to have come good at the right time. He goes up a few points in our estimation

800m to finish: 47,33

400m to finish: 23,16

Super Storm had MJ Byleveld up as he galloped with Fort Vogue and Bernard Fayd’Herbe from the 1400m. Fort Vogue dwarfed and led him early. When put under pressure about 300m from the line, the Cup Trial winner turned on the lights and came away with an impressive gallop.

800m to finish: 48,12

400m to finish: 23,07

Emerald Cove had Felix Coetzee up and  enjoyed a nice relaxed gallop from the 1400m. The Paddock Stakes winner looked well in herself and her gallop was ok.

800m to finish: 48,13

400m to finish: 23,60

Pierre Jourdan and Happy Landing are still in Gauteng and were worked at Turffontein on the grass and sand respectively. While they stretched out we could guage little from the clip shown.

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