Cousin Casey remains the firm favourite for the Hollywoodbets Durban July despite the absence of Al Muthana among the entries, which is going to make the Glen Kotzen-trained three-year-old colt’s task tougher. (Picture: Candiese Lenferna).
The Hollywoodbets Durban July has attracted a 60-strong entry and there is plenty of intrigue.
Bookmakers have not reacted to the significant absence among the entries of Al Muthana.
They should have because his absence dampens the chances of the ante-post favourite, the Glen Kotzen-trained Cousin Casey, whose price has remained firm.
Al Muthana not being in the field means Cousin Casey will now have to give weight to his fellow three-year-olds, which he would not have had to do if Al Muthana was going to be a runner.
Cousin Casey is to date following in the footsteps of the SA Champions Season campaign of Kotzen’s only July winner Big City Life, who, like him, finished second in the Byerley Turk in his pipe opener.
The highest rated three-year-old in the country See It Again will, as things stand, carry the same weight as Cousin Casey, 57kg, whereas he would have had to give Cousin Casey half-a-kilogram had Al Muthana been in. See It Again’s trainer Michael Roberts will be out to join a select band who have won the July as both a jockey and a trainer and he has a fine chance of doing so. The Grade 1 Splashout Cape Derby winner is a three-parts brother to Do It Again and could provide Piere Strydom with a fairytale swansong to his glittering career by winning him a record-equaling fifth July.
The winners of the undermentioned Grade 1 races in the current season will qualify automatically, save that, where appropriate, Gold Circle reserves the right to request a public gallop to determine the well-being / fitness in the event that any of these winners have not raced within three months of the date of final declaration.
Public gallops (compulsory) will be held on Thursday, 22 June.