1997 – A Super Quality Year

A chance ride gave Muis his only July winner

It’s strange to think that we would have been nearing the first declaration stage this week for the 2020 Vodacom Durban July.

With the current uncertainty, the July is rostered for Hollwyoodbets Greyville on Saturday 25 July.

1997 Rothmans July - Super Quality (photo: Gold Circle)

1997 Rothmans July – Super Quality (photo: Gold Circle)

The legendary Michael Roberts rode his one and only July winner 23 years ago.

“That year I was supposed to be on North By Northwest, but then he won the Daily News with Weichong Marwing and Ferraris rang up and said, ‘Bad news, Marwing changed his mind and wants to ride North By Northwest, but you can ride Super Quality.’ Marwing was the stable jockey,” Muis recalled.

“There wasn’t much I could do as I’d already booked my tickets, but I wanted to come home to see my farm and my cattle, so I decided it didn’t matter too much. It just shows you how things work out in life sometimes,” he muses.  “You never know what’s around the corner.”

Muis didn’t get to meet Super Quality until he walked into the parade ring on July day.

“I saw this little horse and thought ‘Oh God, I’ve come all this way to ride a pony!’” he confesses.  He didn’t get much confidence from the ground either.

“David didn’t give me any orders. The only thing he said was to try and bring him down on the outside if I could, because apparently he didn’t like to go through horses. When we were being led out, I asked the groom whether he’d backed the horse and he said no, his money was on the other one and I thought ‘bloody hell!’, but cantering him down, I tell you what, he took me on and nearly ran away with me. I’ll never forget it. I pulled up next to Garth (Puller) and said ‘I’ve never come down in the July so well. I don’t know what he’s got in him, but geez, he’s well’.

Watch how it unfolded – courtesy of Byron Forster:


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