ANTON Marcus, booked for Do It Again in Sunday’s Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge, will be riding the horse for the first time in a race since landing a record fifth Vodacom Durban July on him nearly two years ago, writes MICHAEL CLOWER.
But seemingly the sponsors are more influenced by the five-year-old’s disappointing form so far this season and make him only third favourite at 5-1. Rainbow Bridge heads the market at 5-2 with Vardy close up at 3.03-1.
However favourites in the Gold Challenge have a poor recent record. The last six have all been beaten and there has not been a winning one since odds-on Variety Club (Marcus) won the race for the second successive year in 2013. Furthermore Do It Again won last year’s race and Justin Snaith is bidding for his fourth Gold Challenge victory.
Do It Again remains a big price in the July market with most layers offering around 11-1. Predictably the big movers on Sunday were Snaith’s Saturday feature winners Belgarion and Myabi Gold. The former was cut from 8-1 to 6-1 joint second favourite (with Rainbow Bridge) while the mare was slashed from 66-1 to 22-1. Hawwaam remains favourite but has been eased from 4-1 to 5-1.
Do It Again has finished no closer than sixth in three outings this season but his trainer is hoping for a much-improved effort on Sunday: “He is going well, we have had no hiccups, everything looks fine and on song.
“There are some good horses in the race, and it’s going to be tough, but I am quite confident Do It Again has no reason to run a bad race. We have found all his little issues.”
The last-named includes the ulcers which were believed to be at the root of the horse’s problems in the Cape season. “We did all the tests prior to putting him back into training and everything had cleared up. He is carrying condition which he wasn’t before. He looks a happy horse – he is bucking every morning – and it doesn’t look as if anything is bothering him.” – Gold Circle.