Skip to main content

Justin Snaith pulls the number six draw for July legend Do It Again (Candiese Lenferna Photography) 


The two biggest talking points of this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July Final Field Announcement and Draw Ceremony were the draws landed by Do It Again and his three-parts brother See It Again, who is the big race favourite.

Do It Again is not only out to be the first to win the big race three times, but will become the first to run in the big race six times.
It was thus ironic that he drew barrier number six. 
Trainer Justin Snaith immediately realised the significance when fishing out draw six for the great horse.
“Draw six in his sixth July,” he said to master of ceremonies Graeme Hawkins.
Do It Again will also, of course, carry saddle cloth number six due to the system in place at present of numbers being the same as draws.
There have been number omens in the past which have turned into July victories.
In 2004 on the tenth anniversary of democracy in South Africa saddle cloth number 10 was made in the colours of the South African flag and the Mike de Kock-trained Greys Inn carried it to victory under Anthony Delpech.
In 1960, a week before the July, the Springboks beat the All Blacks 13-0 and both tries were scored by the left wing, Hennie van Zyl. Unbelievably, a horse called Left Wing was number 13 in the July a week later and this horse became the great Syd Garret’s third July winner as a trainer. That July has been known ever since as “The Rugby July”.
In the 1990’s trainer Alec Laird purchased the great racing painting done by Henk Vos, which depicted all winners of the July. However, Vos still had to complete the last frame of the painting, frame 20, and he joked that perhaps an Alec Laird-trained horse could fill it.
In the following July, 1996, Alec’s horse London News was saddle cloth number 20 and he duly won the race and became the horse who filled frame 20 of the great painting. 
The draw for the July favourite is always the most eagerly anticipated and See It Again’s trainer Michael Roberts admitted to being nervous in the build up to the ceremony. 
However, the pressure was taken off him because he was the last trainer out of the hat and there was only one draw left, draw seven.
Roberts revealed owner Nick Jonsson had actually predicted landing draw seven, because it was his father Benji Jonsson’s lucky number.
Roberts had wanted any draw of 8 or below, so he was thrilled.


Do It Again might also set another record in the July, because See It Again is by the same sire as him, Twice Over, and is out of a half-sister to him. See It Again is thus a three-parts brother to Do It Again.
There have been full-sibling running in the July together e.g. Pocket Power and River Jetez, but have there ever been three-parts siblings, which is probably rarer because it covers two generations?
Durban businessman Nick Jonsson part-owns eight-year-old Do It Again and owns three-year-old See It Again outright.
It will still be a milestone moment for Jonsson if See It Again wins because Do It Again does not run in his colours. Bernard Kantor’s yellow colours with blue epaulettes hang in the classic’s room’s July wall of honour in representation of Do It Again’s two victories. 
Jonsson also owns the Snaith-trained Without Question, who landed draw two.  
Michael Roberts will be out to join Syd Garrett, David Payne and Bert Abercrombie, as July-winning jockeys who have also trained a July winner.  
See It Again will be his first July runner as a trainer, 26 years after he won his only July on the David Ferraris-trained Super Quality in 1997. 
The draw ceremony brought with it, as usual, connections who were happy with their draws and others who were at first disappointed, but who later became philosophical.
Traditionally in horse racing the lower the draw the better, but since the advent of the narrower track for the July in 2014 the joint most common winning draw has been 18 out of 18 and there has also been a winner from draw 17 out of 18.
The other joint most common winning draw in the nine renewals on the narrower track has been 8.
However, there have only been three single figure winning draws and the lowest winning draw has been six.
The winning horses and their draws since the advent of the narrower track in 2014 have been Legislate 11/16, Power King 6/18, The Conglomerate 18/18, Marinaresco 8/18, Do It Again 15/18, Do It Again 8/16, Belgarion 17/18, Kommetdieding 18/18 and Sparkling Water 12/18.
It can be surmised that the reason the low draws have a relatively poor record is the slingshot effect that horses towards the outside enjoy as they enter the straight, whilst the horses on the rail can be trapped in a pocket and can thus lack momentum entering the relatively short 450m straight.
Legendary jockey Weichong Marwing, who once rode 14 Grade 1 wins in a single season, was present at the draw ceremony. He said it was only after the draw ceremony  that an analyst would be able to choose where they would like to be drawn, because only then can an analysis be done on which horses would be going forward and which would be dropped out and which would be just sat on from the off.
As Far as the final field goes, there were no shocks, although the connections of both reserve horses, Nebraas and Jimmy Don, would have been disappointed.
The only question was if Nebraas was left out of the top 18, why was he put above Pacaya on the final log? The probable answer is that although neither horse ran again after the publication of the final log, Pacaya’s Gr 2 WSB 1900 win was franked by runner up Winchester Mansion going out and winning the Gr 3 Hollywoodbets Dolphin Cup Trial by 3,10 lengths. Furthermore, there is a race condition that states the winner of the WSB 1900 and HWB Dolphins Cup Trial will be given preferential consideration for inclusion in the final field.

The final field for the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July:

Hollywoodbets DURBAN JULY (Grade 1) FINAL FIELD
Sc# Horse Mass MR Draw B  A  T  M Jockey Trainer
1 BLESS MY STARS 52.0 109 1 A A Mgudlwa Sean Tarry
2 WITHOUT QUESTION 54.5 120 2 A R Fourie Justin Snaith
3 TIME FLIES 55.0 117 3 C  A L Mxothwa Brett Crawford
4 WINCHESTER MANSION 53.0 112 4 C  A K Matsunyane Brett Crawford
5 BILLY BOWLEGS 53.5 118 5 A S Veale Alec Laird
6 DO IT AGAIN 57.0 121 6 B  A G Lerena Justin Snaith
7 SEE IT AGAIN 56.5 124 7 B  A P Strydom Michael Roberts
8 SILVER DARLING 55.0 117 8 B  A J P v’d Merwe Justin Snaith
9 SON OF RAJ 53.0 115 9 B  A M Yeni Weiho Marwing
10 DAVE THE KING 55.5 122 10 A C Zackey Mike de Kock
11 PUERTO MANZANO 58.0 123 11 B  A K de Melo J A Janse van Vuuren
12 PACAYA 53.0 110 12 A G van Niekerk Justin Snaith
13 SECOND BASE 56.5 120 13 B  A C Maujean Robyn Klaasen
14 SAFE PASSAGE 58.0 123 14 A C Soumillon Mike de Kock
15 RASCALLION 57.5 122 15 A C Orffer Vaughan Marshall
16 TRIP OF FORTUNE 60.0 127 16 B  A  T A Domeyer Candice Bass-Robinson
17 RAIN IN HOLLAND 56.5 120 17 B  A S Khumalo Sean Tarry
18 POMP AND POWER 58.0 123 18 A B Fayd’Herbe Justin Snaith
Reserve Runners
19 NEBRAAS 55.0 117 19 B  A  T Reserve 1 Sean Tarry
20 JIMMY DON 53.0 116 20 A Reserve 2 Erico Verdonese