The July Jostle Tonight

An astute view today could offer some serious July ante-post value for the bettor willing to take a position

Solar Star - faces his big test and could book a possible July berth

Solar Star – faces his big test and could book a possible July berth

There is plenty at stake in this evening’s R350 000 Gr2 Betting World 1900, where the jostle for Vodacom Durban July places steps up a notch. With only one of the carded fifteen big race entrants in the top twenty log for the big one, a forward showing could naturally go a long way to reserving a date with destiny on Saturday 4 July.

The mixed turf and poytrack nine race meeting under lights is bound to provide plenty of action racing entertainment and the feature could well open a door or two for Vodacom Durban July hopefuls.

That is where the real interest will lie and an astute view today could offer some serious July ante-post value for the bettor willing to take a position.

Bass Blues

Mike Bass

Mike Bass – topweighted Helderberg Blue has a chance

Mike Bass’ topweighted Helderberg Blue is the only runner on the evening in the VDJ top twenty.

The R2,8 million son of Jet Master has drawn well at 3 and ran places in the Peninsula Handicap and the J&B Met, prior to showing pace in his Drill Hall prep run.

He has always been highly thought of but needs to win something of consequence  and could use this platform to go on to better things-but the handicapper has been a tad harsh on him.

The first ante-post lurker could be another Jet Master in Mike De Kock’s Jayyed, the only one time winner in the race – who extraordinarily only won his maiden at his penultimate start!

The promising 3yo has an unorthodox form profile, courtesy of having run second in the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes and the Godolphin Barb when campaigned as a maiden 2yo.

While he put in no kind of effort in the Dingaans, his post maiden KRA Guineas run was promising when he stayed on 3,40 lengths behind The Conglomerate.

He will enjoy this trip and looks a serious contender.

King Kannemeyer

Dean Kannemeyer - in top form

Dean Kannemeyer – in top form

Dean Kannemeyer can do nothing wrong at the moment and he brings three to the races on Friday.

His recent Sledgehammer winner Solar Star has drawn well and is unbeaten in KZN this season after a polytrack and turf win.

Dean is on record as suggesting that this gelding is loaded with ability but still needs to show the handicapper that he is worthy of a July place.

He could well complete that requirement with a good run here and has plenty in his favour.

Power King beat subsequent Drill Hall Stakes winner Ice Machine in a Pinnacle Stakes at Scottsville last time and will be a better horse over the 1900m.

He has drawn out at 11 but is a horse who likes to run at them late and MJ Byleveld rides him for the first time.

The son of Silvano looks well overdue to score a first Gr2 victory and this could be the season where he comes into his own after failing at the final hurdle of the Cape Winter Triple Crown last term.

Bold Inspiration - will be at his peak

Bold Inspiration – will be at his peak

The six-time winning Bold Inspiration is the ride of Anton Marcus and his win in the Michaelmas Handicap over the course and distance brings him into the picture.

He reeled off a terrific four wins on the trot earlier and while out of his depth in the Summer Cup, he has not been far off recently.

He meets Solar Star a kilo better off for his two length beating in the Sledgehammer last time and from a nice draw with a top jockey up who knows him well, he could be right there.

Nasty Knock

Jet Explorer

Jet Explorer will be ridden by Bernard Fayd’herbe

The 2013 winner, Justin Snaith’s Jet Master gelding Jet Explorer, recovered  from an horrific accident at Clairwood last season and improved nicely when an eyecatching fourth to Futura in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.

He ran a flat race in the Met and then failed at odds on in his opening KZN run a month back.

He seems better than that and Bernard Faydherbe will hopefully be fit to ride him.

Snaith’s other runner, Dynasty gelding Dynamic, beat Helderberg Blue at level weights in the Cape and impressed in his local debut when a decent enough second to Solar Star in the Sledgehammer.  He is a kilo better off here and would be a top four selection, were he not drawn on the beachfront.

Brett Crawford has made a sensational start to his Champions Season campaign and he saddles the enigmatic De Kock, a lightly raced three time winner who has yet to build on his 3yo season.

He ran a modest fourth behind Balance Sheet in his prep and cannot be fancied.

Elley Travels

Dynastic Power - shown good ability over varying distances

Dynastic Power – shown good ability over varying distances

Stan Elley travels up from Cape Town with the coupling of Punta Arenas and the promising Dynastic Power – a horse we have yet to see the best of.

Dynastic Power comes straight out of his fourth placed effort on Met Day in the Urban Honey Stayers and could well need it after the 14 week break.  He is another  galloper with a terrific turn of foot and who could surprise in the hands of the form jockey Greg Cheyne.

His stablemate 6yo Punta Arenas has been this way before and ran a gallant fifth in the J&B Met. His 17 draw does not inspire hope but he is always thereabouts and worthy of quartet inclusions.

The Geoff Woodruff-trained Killua Castle has shown moderate form since winning the London News Stakes and running second to Louis The King in the Summer Cup.  He was also well beaten by Wylie Hall at his last two starts and needs to show some spark again.


Trainer Mike Azzie’s gallant 6yo Brooks-Club had his first three starts as a 2yo in KZN some four years ago and has not seen Greyville since placing on debut in March 2011.

His recent form is not entirely poor, but he takes on some decent more progressive sorts and looks to be nothing more than an outside hope.He is the only non July hopeful.

Dean Kannemeyer’s  Dynasty gelding It Is Written, has been supplemented for the July.

He came back strongly after a rest to beat French Revolution in a Scottsville 1400m handicap last time and while that runner-up subsequently flopped, he is a capable five time winner and should not be underestimated at his first big test.

Sean Tarry’s Whiteline Fever is a class act, but has not won in ages and appears to have lost some of his enthusiasm and fight.

The fact that Piere Strydom makes a rare Greyville Friday evening appearance could well give his hopes a lift and the log-leading form yard can never be underestimated.

Paul Gadsby’s Candy Moon has drawn wide out at 16 but meets Solar Star on a kilo better weight terms for a 1,75 length beating in the Sledgehammer.


Double Clutch - a meteoric rise through the ranks

Double Clutch – a meteoric rise through the ranks

Paul Lafferty’s  Double Clutch has made amazing progress since winning his maiden at long odds at this track a year ago. Dubbed the miracle horse for his astonishing recovery from a life threatening illness, he has won four of his last five starts, the most recent in the East Coast Handicap.

This is his first real test.

The Mike Bass-trained Mountain Master is a reserve runner and looks a very remote July hope at this stage of the play.

While he showed one or two flickers of hope in his Gauteng campaign, he finished way back in the Drill Hall Stakes and needs to show good improvement, if getting a run.


In a wide open race, there is an intriguing mix of proven class and simmering ability at play.

Helderberg Blue always seems to have an excuse but is overdue to win again. Bold Inspiration loves the track and Marcus rides. Power King and stablemate Solar Star are fit and in form.

It doesn’t end there. Go wide – it should be a thrilling spectacle.

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