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The Justin Snaith-trained Jet Dark has been lowered one point to 129 after his Grade 2 IOS Drill Hall Stakes sixth place finish was followed by a 0,60 length third in Saturday’s Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge and he and Kommetdieding will be joint topweights in the Hollywoodbets Durban July.
The handicappers used the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winner MK’S Pride as the line horse for the Gold Challenge and the winner Al Muthana was consequently raised three points to 125. He only beat fourth-placed 122-rated MK’s Pride by 1,20 lengths, which equals 2,4 merit rated points, but they rounded it up to three points on the grounds of him being eased before the line.
Jet Dark’s lowered mark means that with former July winner Belgarion having been lowered to 128, the joint topweights for the July are going to be Jet Dark and Kommetdieding, who are now both merit rated 129.
The Hollywoodbets Durban July weights will officially be published tomorrow
Jet Dark and Kommetdieding will both carry 60kg.
Al Muthana wil carry 58kg despite beating both Linebacker, who will carry 58,5kg off a 126 rating, and Jet Dark on Saturday (by 0,40 lengths and 0,60 lengths respectively).
Jockey Richard Fourie, after scoring his possibly record-equalling seventh Grade 1 winner of the season, said he believed Al Muthana would easily get the July 2200m trip. However, a new jockey will have to be found for him because Fourie is already committed to Pomp And Power.
The ruling favourite Safe Passage, a three-year-old rated 122, will carry 54,5kg.
Third favourite Sparkling Water is merit rated 116, meaning she will carry 53,5kg.
Pomp And Power is next in the market and will only be half-a-kilogram under sufferance carrying the minimum weight for a three-year-old of 53kg off his 118 merit rating.
Do It Again will carry 58,5kg off his 126 merit rating, which is 1kg more than he carried last year when a desperately unlucky fourth.
However, he will be 4,5kg better off with both Kommetdieding and Linebacker for a respective 1,75 length and 1,25 length beating from last year’s race, although if weight for age improvement is taken into account he will effectively only be 2,5kg better off with them.
Nevertheless, the dual July winner has been the best performed horse in the race for four successive years and has a fine chance.
Picture: The WSB Met one-two Kommetdieding And Jet Dark will be joint Hollywoodbets Durban July topweights (Wayne Marks)