Sage’s July Fever?

Great comeback after injury by Judpot gelding

Doubts over the talented Coral Fever’s suitability to the short Greyville straight may see Sunday’s R250 000 Gr3 Jubilee Handicap winner’s connections giving the Vodacom Durban July supplementary route a miss.

Muzi Yeni guides Coral Fever to a smart win over Bankable Teddy (Jarryd Penny) in Sunday’s Jubilee Handicap (Pic – JC Photos)

The lightly raced gelding charged home to win the Turffontein Sunday feature, one of four July ‘preferential consideration’ races – and a fair pointer to success in the big race over the years.

Coral Fever was not entered for the big one, but the final July supplementary entries close at 11h00 on Monday.

Muzi Yeni

Muzi Yeni – nicely judged win – leaves for Mauritius on Wednesday

“It’s in the balance as to whether he goes for the July or not. I’m a little concerned about the Greyville straight being a bit sharp for him. But he’s a decent horse and he’s well over his injury. I will chat to Colin Bird before any decisions are made,” the veteran Robbie Sage told the Sporting Post after his charge’s impressive first feature win.

Sage confirmed that Coral Fever cracked a bone in his knee after winning in March 2016. He was thrown out for a rest and returned 11 months later.

In his four return runs, he has produced two wins – including a victory over Sean  Tarry July entry Tilbury Fort – and a second, and looks well on his way to fulfilling his early promise.

Robbie Sage – excellent job with getting Coral Fever back to best

On Sunday Muzi Yeni had the handily weighted Coral Fever relaxed near the rear of the thirteen horse field as Master ‘N Commander and Moofeed led the charge for home down the Turffontein standside straight.

Taking his time to fire up, Coral Fever unleashed a devastating late run down the outside from many lengths back.

With Muzi Yeni giving Coral Fever a solid left handed crack at the 250m marker, the gelding lugged in badly but was straightened smartly and won readily in the end.

He beat Bankable Teddy – running for the first time for David Niewenhuizen – by 1,10 lengths in an official time of 113,35 secs.

(Ed – We clocked our own race time of 111,32 secs – which appears to be correct)

Scott Kenny’s Hidden Agenda flew from last to grab third cheque, ahead of the always present Master ‘N Commander, who tired late.

The two July entries, The Elmo Effect (2,50 lengths) and Liege (4,60 lengths), had every chance but looked to have consigned their 2017 big race dreams to the files of history.

The RA Handicap winner Fortissima ran her second dismal race since returning from a rest, to finish stone last.

The 4yo Coral Fever took his earnings to R410 650 with his fourth win with 3 places from his 12th start.

A R130 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, Coral Fever was bred by Ascot Stud and is a son of Judpot (A P Indy) out of the two-time winning Coral Tree (Rich Man’s Gold).

Muzi Yeni, who has struck some better form in the last few weeks, leaves for a two week working holiday in Mauritius this week. He will be back in time to ride Ten Gun Salute on 1 July.

The Vodacom Durban July key dates:

Weights Published: Tuesday, 13 June

Final Declaration: Close 11h00 Monday, 19 June

Announcement of the Final Field and Barrier Draws will take place on Tuesday, 20 June

Public Gallops: 07h00 at Greyville Racecourse, Thursday, 22 June


Gr3 Jubilee Handicap (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, June 11, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.53.35

1 – CORAL FEVER (SAF), 53.5, ch g 4, Judpot (USA) – Coral Tree (SAF) by Rich Man’s Gold (USA). Owner Ms Sylvia Vrska & Mr Colin Bird; Breeder Ascot Stud; trainer RR Sage; jockey M Yeni
2 – Bankable Teddy (SAF), 52.0, b g 4, Bankable (IRE) – Harem’s Secret (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
3 – Hidden Agenda (SAF), 52.5, b g 5, Brave Tin Soldier (USA) – Bansela (SAF) by Malhub (USA)
Margins: 1.10, 0.30, 0.80

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