THE final field for the Vodacom Durban July over 2200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday 25 July, will be announced on Tuesday and this weekend is the final chance for horses on the fringe to earn a berth in the race, writes JACK MILNER.
The two feature events on the weekend are the Track And Ball Derby and Oaks, both over 2400m, at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Saturday.
The Derby has attracted a small field with three runners looking to qualify for the Durban July. It’s My Turn, Eyes Wide Open and Duke of Spin are all in the mix.
Marchingontogether heads the betting boards as he won the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup in fine style over this distance and his dam line is packed with stamina.
Eyes Wide Open is having his third run after a rest and with the eye-catching jockey booking of Anton Marcus; it makes him a strong contender in this line-up.
However, the best handicapped runner is It’s My Turn, who two years ago won this race, as well as the Gold Bowl and the Gold Cup.
An injury put him out of action for 19 months but he came back last month and ran well when a 1.65-length fifth in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m.
He will be better suited to today’s trip and trainer Dean Kannemeyer believes he will perform well.
“He is doing extremely well and I’m very happy with him. I’ve had him on the grass and expect a big run as we are aiming him at the Durban July”.
The Track And Ball Oaks sees the Highveld runners dominating the race and betting.
The Mike de Kock-trained Pomander ran a huge race when finishing second to Summer Pudding in the Grade 1 SA Oaks and based on that she is a massive runner.
But they will all have to beat Chitengo from the Alec Laird yard. She is unbeaten over this distance and will have Gavin Lerena up.
Chitengo was drawn badly in her last start and has a reasonable draw this time round.
Also expect a big run from lightly raced Ballet Shoes. This Candice-Dawson-trained filly was beaten just 0.50 lengths by Pomander in the SA Oaks and has a top jockey up this time in Richard Fourie. – TAB News.