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Sands Won’t Run Rainbow Bridge

Gr1 HKJC World Pools Champions Cup

Trainer Eric Sands has made the tough decision to withdraw Rainbow Bridge from the Gr1 HKJC World Pools Champions Cup.

The season-ending race will be run over 1800m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday, July 31.

Rainbow Bridge – won’t be pushed (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

After scratching his head over the past two weeks, Sands decided on Friday that it was to Rainbow Bridge’s benefit that he miss the race.

“It’s a million rand race, and I would love to go for a million rand race, but why do I want to get blood out of a stone,” he said.

“Two years ago, he won the race and he should have beaten Soqrat by five lengths. Last year he got beaten by his brother (Golden Ducat) but he should have beaten Cirillo (third) by five lengths.

“He’s had a tough season and he’s given everything. His run in the July was probably his worst. I could get him back but if he gets beaten people will say I should not have let him run.”

“He’s not just a horse, he’s my friend and I would never do that to a friend,” Sands concluded.

This season Rainbow Bridge won the Gr1 Cape Town Met, the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes and the Gr1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge. He was also second in the Gr2 Green Point Stakes, beaten a short head by Belgarion, and second in the Gr1 Queen’s Plate.

His last run in the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July was his worse showing this season, finishing eighth, beaten five lengths by Kommetdieding, the run that prompted Sands’ decision.

Supplementary entries close by 11h00 on Monday 19 July.

Declarations are due by 11h00 Thursday 22 July.

The weights:

R600 000 1800m 16:25
Horses at Weight-For-Age
WFA: 2yrs-10.5kgs 3yrs-1.5kgs
No Apprentice Allowance
8 Rainbow Bridge (6G) 60 134 A Eric Sands
11 Do It Again Accepted (6G) 60 129 A Justin Snaith
5 Got The Greenlight (4C) 60 126 AT Joe Soma
1 Sovereign Spirit (5G) 60 120 BA Candice Bass-Robinson
10 Crown Towers (AUS) Accepted (5G) 60 117 A M Justin Snaith
9 Warrior’s Rest (6G) 60 115 BAT Sean Tarry
2 Tristful (5G) 60 113 CA Tony Rivalland
3 Sachdev (4G) 60 108 A Justin Snaith
7 Jet Dark Accepted (3C) 58.5 130 A Justin Snaith
6 Catch Twentytwo (3G) 58.5 126 A Paul Peter
4 Seeking The Stars (3C) 58.5 121 BA Vaughan Marshall
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8 comments on “Sands Won’t Run Rainbow Bridge

  1. Brian Fredericks says:

    You couldn’t make a better decision Mr Sands I personally think there is more in your friend!

  2. Geoff Logan says:

    Well done Eric Sands. What a lovely comment. He is my friend!!!

  3. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey… Eric you beat Soqrat a long head in 2019 with RB,,what makes you think you could have beaten Soqrat by 5 lengths ? Are feeling okay boetie ? Then in 2020 Rainbow Bridge just manages to beat Cirillo into 2nd by a head,, again you mentioned you could have beaten Cirillo by 5 Lengths… If that is the case then why not mention Golden Ducat who won the race as well as Do It Again who ran 4th only going down by under a length ? Surely if that’s the case,,then you should have mentioned GD and DIA as well… Eric I think you still mad with yourself for running Rainbow Bridge in the July,, let it slide it’s done and dusted boy,, the sooner you pull yourself towards yourself and start planning next year’s Durban season the quicker you’ll overcome the painful mistake

  4. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    I know for a fact Mr Sands never got any awkward calls on the Monday after the July.

  5. Dev Govender says:

    I’m always pleased when the connections put the wellbeing of the horse first, and Eric Sands has taken the right approach here. RB still looks a proper Gr1 contender going into his 7yo campaign and must be given every chance to get back to top form for the summer season.

    I’m a bit surprised and puzzled by the “five length” comment, though – not sure what to make of that.

  6. Dan Maniram says:

    Hi Frankie, with regards to your comments about Eric Sands:
    Eric is one of the most crafted horsemen around. When he mentions that Rainbow Bridge would have beaten Soqrat and Cirillo by 5 lengths, I tend to believe him. You must remember that RB always had temperamental issues where he would get worked up and often overraced. In previous years especially in the July of 2020 where he raced too keenly, only to fade over the final 200m, yet it was an exceptional run considering the weight he was carrying. This year RB had turned the corner with Luke Ferraris riding him cold. Eric Sands is most probably referring to the RB of now, when comparing Soqrat and Cirillo. He may have a point.

  7. Edgar Bedford says:

    Tend to agree with you Dan. I think the key word in the article though is “should have”, NOT “could have” or “would have”. I think what Eric is trying to say is that given the high merit rating of RB vs the horses that ran 2nd/3rd behind him in 2019 & 2020, he should have been further ahead of them than where he finished in respect to them (given the WFA terms of the race) – suggesting that, although he runs impeccable races in the Champions Cup, come the end of the season he naturally tires a little (probably running more to a 132 than his usual peak 134). I think this is a very warranted assessment by Eric and would be natural for a horse that runs in the most high tempo’ed races in the country come the end of July. Why over exert a champion, he has had a hell of a great season this year and is definitely my horse of the year (irrespective of whatever the Champions Cup result is)….I of course would have liked to see him run just for the pleasure of seeing a champion, but he has nothing to prove in my opinion and THIS horse definitely deserves his break: serious carrots and sugar cubes for this season’s efforts, can’t wait to see him in December and very noble of the owner and trainer to put the horse first.

  8. Rod Mattheyse says:

    another few awkward calls on Monday – i blame the computaform for its crazy numbering system

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