Cape Town - The final field for the 2018 renewal of the R4.25 million Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July was announced at Greyville on Tuesday.
According to the Sportingpost website, the line-up of 18 runners plus two reserves sees the country’s leading yards of Justin Snaith (5) and Sean Tarry (3) fielding eight runners between them. The 3-year-olds dominate with eight representing that age group.
Snaith will fancy his chances of winning the race for a third time with a powerful quintet that is headed by current favourite and Cup Trial winner African Night Sky, as well as the progressive Made To Conquer, who will be partnered by Jeff Lloyd.
Sean Tarry is also looking for his third July win and his recently gelded Tilbury Fort, runner-up to Mike de Kock’s Yakeen - who also makes the cut - in the Jubilee Handicap, will have many supporters.
Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Coral Fever will carry top weight, while Geoff Woodruff’s SA Oaks winner Secret Potion carrying 52kg at the other end of the scale.
Paul Peter’s Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes winner Sabina’s Dynasty looks a tad unlucky not to have squeaked in.
As does Dean Kannemeyer’s 3-year-old Grade 1 winner and Saturday’s facile Derby winner It’s My Turn.
The Christmas Handicap winner Roy Had Enough is another horse with reasonable form in Grade 1 company at his last three starts.
The possible lucky horse has to be Paul Lafferty’s Dark Moon Rising (rated 101), a four-time winner of an MR90 Handicap at best. He is in good recent form and did finish close up in the Sledgehammer and the Greyville 1900 - but is that better than the three feature winners?
The race will be run on Saturday, July 7.
Final field for 2018 Durban July: Under draw, horse, mass, merit rating, barrier, jockey (if named), trainer
1. CORAL FEVER - 60.00 - 118 - 4 - Musi Yeni - Robbie Sage
2. GOLD STANDARD - 59.50 - 117 - 6 - Craig Zackey - Glen Kotzen
3. ABASHIRI - 58.50 - 115 - 2 - Piere Strydom - M G Azzie/A A Azzie
4. AFRICAN NIGHT SKY - 57.00 - 112 - 10 - Grant van Niekerk - Justin Snaith
5. ELUSIVE SILVA - 56.50 - 111 - 14 - Bernard Fayd’Herbe - Justin Snaith
6. LIEGE - 56.00 - 110 - 18 - Raymond Danielson - Sean Tarry
7. STAR EXPRESS - 55.50 - 109 - 9 - Aldo Domeyer - Justin Snaith
8. DO IT AGAIN - 54.00 - 110 - 16 - Anton Marcus - Justin Snaith
9. MAJESTIC MAMBO - 54.00 - 110 - 19 - Callan Murray - Paul Peter
10. MATADOR MAN - 53.50 - 105 - 15 - S'Manga Khumalo - Sean Tarry
11. FIORELLA - 53.00 - 108 - 8 - Mark Khan - Duncan Howells
12. WHITE RIVER - 53.00 - 108 - 13 - Corne Orffer - Brett Crawford
13. TILBURY FORT - 53.00 - 103 - 20 - Lyle Hewitson - Sean Tarry
14. YAKEEN - 53.00 - 103 - 7 - Randall Simons - Mike de Kock
15. MADE TO CONQUER - 53.00 - 102 - 12 - Jeff Lloyd - Justin Snaith
16. ROCKET COUNTDOWN - 53.00 - 102 - 5 - Stuart Randolph - Candice Bass-Robinson
17. DARK MOON RISING - 53.00 - 101 - 3 - Warren Kennedy - Paul Lafferty
18. SECRET POTION - 52.00 - 102 - 11 - Marco V’Rensburg - Geoff Woodruff
19. PACK LEADER - 53.00 - 106 - 17 - Reserve 1 - Glen Kotzen
20. CROWD PLEASER - 53.00 - 102 - 1 - Reserve 2 - J A Janse van Vuuren