Wernars Gelding Winds Up Big Race Prep In Good Style

All good for some - others don't impress

Weights mean nothing and the barrier gate and luck in running will have far more impact in determining the outcome of the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

That’s the personal opinion of trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren after his Argentinian-bred Puerto Manzano wrapped up his prep for the 1 July spectacular and ran out an easy winner of Sunday’s R250 000 Gr3 Jubilee Stakes at Turffontein.

Puerto Manzano (Keagan de Melo) sails home to complete his Hollywoodbets Durban July prep (Pic – JC Photos)

The Jubilee Stakes was a traditional ‘last chance saloon’ for the Hollywoodbets Durban July in year’s past and while it no longer qualifies as a ‘preferential consideration’ race, the 1800m standside contest certainly boosted the Wernars’ family’s hopes of having possibly more than one serious runner in the big race – even if their talented Argentinian bred gelding has not distinguished himself at the Durban city track in past efforts.

Carrying 62 kgs as topweight and facing eight opponents, including  three borderline Hollywoodbets Durban July candidates, the 5yo was given a sensible ride by Keagan de Melo and sharpened for the shorter Hollywoodbets Greyville runway in three weeks as he was sent for home a little earlier than he usually is.

The plan worked well and after Indlamu had led the charge at a fairly modest pace, Puerto Manzano (5-1) was given the office to win unchallenged and beat the consistent Whafeef (10-1) by 1,65 lengths in a time of 111,38 secs.

Electric Gold (7-2) finished best of the big race candidates who needed to make an impression, the 3yo son of Flying The Flag staying on a further neck back for third.

Sean Tarry’s Pyromaniac (6-1)  really had every chance but raced without cover late and stayed on without threatening for a 3,75 length fourth. His champion trainer would probably have wanted to see more spark.

But the same applies to the fourth of the Hollywoodbets Durban July entries in Erico Verdonese’ Jimmy Don (9-4) who was beaten 1,25 lengths by the Tarry resident.

The Jubilee hero Puerto Manzano is sounder than he has ever been according to his trainer and has now won 9 races with 8 places from 24 starts for stakes of R4 011 850.

His two Gr1 successes this term were his main mission and the July remains a stress-free curtain call on his trainer’s best season ever.

Purchased by Justin Vermaak, Puerto Manzano was bred by Dr Ignacio Pavlovsky at Haras Carampangue and is a son of Speightstown’s Gr1 Hollywood Derby winning son Seek Again out of the two time winning Orpen mare, Poser.

Owner Laurence Wernars and his son Jarryd were notable absentees at Turffontein on Sunday. They were apparently at the UEFA Champions League final at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium to watch Manchester City beat Inter 1-0 on Saturday.

Earlier on in the afternoon, Sean Tarry had plenty of reason to smile when his Hollywoodbets Durban July entry Bless My Stars wound up her big race prep under engaged rider Athandiwe Mgudlwa, when she beat perennial bridesmaid Feather Boa in a mile Pinnacle Stakes for the fairer sex.

Final supplementary entries for the Hollywoodbets Durban July will close at 11h00 on Tuesday 13 June.

Weights will be published on Tuesday 13 June.

Final Declaration close at 11h00 on Monday 19 June.

Final Field and Draw announcement will take place on Tuesday 20 June.

Public gallops (compulsory) will be held on Thursday 22 June.

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