Durban - There were no surprises in the selection made by the Gold Circle Board for the final field of the R3.5 million Durban July Handicap to be run over 2200 metres at Greyville on July 5.
In all, 20 horses were chosen, sixteen of which form the final field and four were reserves.
Should there be any scratchings before July 4, the horses would be replaced by the reserves. All reserves would be withdrawn the day before the race.
While it was generally accepted that the low draws had an advantage, records showed that horses could win from any lane. Moreover, this year's field would be the smallest for many years, due to the narrowing of the grass track at Greyville which could now only accommodate 16 runners.
Legislate, one of the favourites, had a wide draw at 14 while Rake's Chestnut, which finished a close second to him in the recent Daily News 2000, had drawn stall gate 5.
Louis The King, only the second horse to win the Triple Crown, finished third in the Daily News 2000 and had drawn stall gate 10. Drawn nearest the inside and scraping in as number 16, was Futura who, earlier, appeared unlikely to make the final line-up but, because of the many scratchings, he had worked his way up the log.
Trainer Geoff Woodruff had the most runners with three starters -- Louis the King, Rake's Chestnut and Tellina -- while Sean Tarry, winner of the last two Julys, had two runners in Halve the Deficit and Whiteline Fever.
Justin Snaith had the favourite Legislate and the crack filly In The Fast Lane and the only other trainer with a dual entry was Brett Crawford with Futura and Captain America.
Last year's winning jockey, Smanga Khumalo would be riding Whiteline Fever.
King of Pain, trained by Joey Ramsden, Capetown Noir (Dean Kannemeyer), Wylie Hall (Aus) (Weiho Marwing), Espumanti (GB) (Mike de Kock), Puna Arenas (Stan Elley), Cherry on the Top (Ormond Ferraris) and Jet Belle (Glen Kotzen) made up the rest of the main field.
Reserves: Readytogorightnow (Snaith), Pomodoro (Tarry), Master Sabina (Woodruff) and Dylan's Promise (Charles Laird).