Dean Kannemeyer’s Hollywoodbets Durban July charge Waterberry Lane (Soft Falling Rain) has been the subject of a few whispers at Summerveld as he is looking in mint conditions and if a horse was fated to win this year it would, of course, be him.
His owner, the late great doyen Mike Rattray, had a life-long burning desire to win this race and in the year of his passing it would be fitting if his colours finally crossed the line in front.
Three times July-winning trainer Kannemeyer said, “He is doing very well. I was very happy with his gallop last week at Greyville on his own. He’s stripped a fit horse. He’s basically finished his hard work. He did a bit of pace work on his own on the beach track on Monday. I couldn’t have asked for a better draw. It’s the first time he is trying 2200m. He quickened up very well the other day behind Safe Passage (in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000), but he was too good for us. There wasn’t much between the second, third and fourth, three of them in a line short-head, short-head. He has to go an extra 200m and the race will tell whether he gets it.”
He will be 1,5kg better off with Safe Passage for a 2,25 length beating, which on paper will put him within about half-a-length of Safe Passage.
Kannemeyer concluded about the three-year-old Soft Falling Rain gelding, “He finished that last run off well and has come through it well. I am hoping for a clean run race and that they go at a good, even tempo. He is doing exceptionally well, he’s in great shape, I am happy with his prep.”
Kannemeyer runs the good debut winner Bright Green (Gimmethegreenlight) in the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe and said, “Unfortunately he drew 14 out of 14. He won exceptionally well first time out. It wasn’t a strong field but he quickened up well and he couldn’t do more than that. From a wide draw you always need a lot of luck, there is always a scramble. There’s always arguments and fights in the jockeys room afterwards about the early stages of the race, but I have got to take my chances. This will probably be his final race before he goes back to Cape Town.”
Kannemeyer added about Bright Green’s readiness for that debut, “A horse who is bred like that you are not going to have them half fit, you have them ready and fit enough to run a good race. My first-timers don’t come out the gates and are gone, I like them to jump out and stretch out and then finish the race off. So that race could only have brought him on.”
In the BSA Sales Cup for two-year-old males over 1300m he runs The United States colt USA’s Hope and said, “He ran very well first time out in open company (4,70 length third over 1200m on the Hollywodbets Greyville turf behind Formagear). He is also drawn wide (13 out of 14). I think he will come on for that debut run. It’s an open race and he’s got to have a chance.”
Kannemeyer runs Rex Union (Duke Of Marmalade) in the Grade 2 DSTV Gold Vase over 3000m and said, “It’s his last attempt at putting him in this class and the intention is to come in with a bottom weight in the Gold Cup. He gives the impression he will stay the trip. He ran unplaced the other day, he ran second last (beaten 2,75 lenghs in the Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup) but the handicapper didn’t forget to put him up six pounds.”
He runs Silvano’s Timer (Silvano) in the Listed Compendium Insurance Brokers Handicap over 1600m and said, “”The Track And Ball Derby last time was too far. I thought he woud stay and he slipped through on the inside and looked like he was picking them off, but the last 300m he had had enough. He came through that run well, so I have put him in this handicap over 1600m. He is nicely drawn and I think he should give a good account of himself, but it’s also a very competitive race. He’s done well. He’s hardly raced, he’s gone through some serious setbacks, but he’s bounced back to win and you can’t leave him out.”
He concluded, “It’s going to be a great day’s racing.”
Picture: Waterberry Lane (Candiese Lenferna Photography)