July Trainer – ‘Beaten Fair & Square – Let’s Salute The Winner’

Soma Champ Returns For Champions Cup

Beaten fair and square. No excuses. No summising of what could have been. If is for children…

That was the word from trainer Joey Soma after his Vodacom Durban July favourite Got The Greenlight finished under a length back in third in a vintage renewal of the big race at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

The eternal charismatic good sportsman, Joey Soma was quoting a Roger Whittaker ballad of the 1970’s and giving away his age in the process.

But he was full of the positive joys of his professional life when we spoke to him on Sunday morning.

“What a privilege to train a five time Gr1 winner who has run second and third in the Vodacom Durban July. And I doff my cap in respect and admiration to Michelle Rix and her legendary Dad, Harold Crawford. I don’t know owner Ashwin Reynolds but my best wishes to him and his family. On Friday the game lost a good racing man in Jumat Cola and the mood was understandably subdued,” added Soma, who saddled three winners at Turffontein on the same afternoon.

“If you had told me I would celebrate a placing in the Vodacom Durban July and three winners at Turffontein from our small string on the same afternoon, then I’d say that 3 July 2021 ranked amongst the great days in my racing career. What a privilege to have just been part of the great day. Thanks to Gold Circle, to Vodacom and to my team – and everybody that made the day,” he said.

On the performance of Got The Greenlight, Joey observed that many of the jockeys may have anticipated a stronger pace than they got.

“That led to a concertina effect and some horses suffered. But the ifs don’t matter today. Nothing changes the result. We all went in with our eyes open, we knew it’s a tough race and agonising with post-mortems are not going to change the result. Let’s rather salute the winner – hell what a plan come together. Michelle Rix is a dedicated up-and-coming talent in the ranks and Harold Crawford is a soldier. I remember him when he was an apprentice with Jumbo Goldstein up in Gauteng. The man has had his own battles – like we all have, I suppose. It took him the best part of a lifetime to stand on a Vodacom Durban July winner’s podium – he got there and most of us go through entire careers not coming within a length or two of the greatest honour in SA racing.”

Two hours after the race – Kommetdieding with his delighted groom Luvo Zingelwayo (right) and second groom Michael Ncaphayi from Dennis Bosch’s yard (Pic – RACING NEWS – Michele Wing)

Joey says that he will make a decision today as to whether to travel back to Turffontein HQ or to leave Got The Greenlight at Summerveld.

“Got The Greenlight went for a walk this morning. He looks outstanding and he has eaten up. I’d like to run him in the 1800m Gr1 Champions Cup at month end.  Then African Adventure won well on Saturday so will bring him down for the Gold Cup. I also have a few 2yo’s that could run on the day.”

Gavin Lerena gets Kommetdieding up to win smartly (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Joey’s observation regarding the pace is underscored by Kommetdieding winning in a time of 133,71 secs – way off Trademark’s 2001 benchmark of 131,76 secs

The second 3yo home was Linebacker who finished with a sustained run and was beaten 0,70 lengths.

Got The Greenlight was a neck behind the 3yo back in third.

Do It Again didn’t have the best of passages and was 1,75 lengths off the winner. Justin Snaith joked that he’d be back carrying 55kgs in 2022!

The rest are listed below:

  • Rascallion 2,25 lengths
  • Sovereign Spirit 2,85 lengths
  • Cirillo 4,25 lengths
  • Rainbow Bridge 5,15 lengths
  • Belgarion 5,45 lengths
  • She’s A Keeper 6,55 lengths
  • Crown Towers 6,95 lengths
  • Matterhorn 8,05 lengths
  • Nexus 8,10 lengths
  • Expressfromtheus 8,85 lengths
  • Running Brave 9,15 lengths
  • Johnny Hero 12,05 lengths
  • Shah Akbar 16,05 lengths
  • Tristful showed early pace but finished last and 18,15 lengths off the winner.

Watch the replay again!

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