Trip Of Fortune – will he stay? (Candiese Lenferna Photography).
Candice Bass-Robinson said it had always been the plan to consider running Trip Of Fortune in the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July after seeing how he had come out of the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge.
She admitted there was a stamina question mark, but said if ridden conservatively the one course in the country where a horse with stamina doubts could get away with it would be Hollywoodbets Greyville.
She said, “It has always been an option and we have nothing to lose, so might as well give it a bash.”
She added he had been ridden a bit too handily in the Gold Challenge.
Furthermore, Trip Of Fortune is not only by the same sire as Winchester Mansion but is also from the same family and the latter has won a Gr 3 over 2400m as well as Saturday’s Gr 3 Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cup Trial over 1800m on Saturday in comfortable fashion.
The supplementary entry took the public by surprise, because Trip Of Fortune has built a reputation as a sprint-miler.
He has never raced beyond a mile.
The classy four-year-old gelding’s career stakes victories have been a Listed win as a two-year-old over 1200m, a Gr 3 win over 1400m as a three-year-old and this season he has won a Gr 1 over 1600m, a Gr 2 over 1600m, a Gr 2 over 1400m and a Gr 3 over 1400m.
However, Candice recalled the 1991 July win of the Chris Snaith-trained Flaming Rock, who was ostensibly a miler (and he had also won a Gr 3 over 1200m that season in easy fashion).
She added, “And Flaming Rock came from last in the July.”
She dismissed the rumour mill, which has it that there is some sort of strategic reason for Trip Of Fortune to be entered and that he will be scratched at an appropriate time before the race.
She said, “I think they are saying it has something to do with the weights but him being there is only going to change the weights by half-a-kilogram … it is not going to effect anyone.”
In fact one of the half-a-kilogram sufferers by his presence is the fellow Drakenstein Stud homebred, the Brett Crawford-trained Winchester Mansion.
N.B Candice made these comments before the scratching of Zapatillas.
Trip Of Fortune’s presence in fact prevented all of the weights having to be dragged upward by 1,5kg, which would have happened had the weights first been set on the 126 rating of Zapatillas and he had then later been scratched (see article about the scratching of Zapatillas).