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The St. John Gray-trained Argonaut colt Argo Alley is in the final field for the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe on Hollywoodbets Durban July day and will make his way down from Randjesfontein next week provided the roads are clear and the horse is ready on the day.
The chestnut colt put up a scintillating time over 1400m at the Vaal in his third career start to record his second win.
He then drew wide over 1400m at Turffontein in a Juvenile Stakes event over 1400m.
However, St. John had a good reason for keeping him in the field.
He said, “I wanted to see if he could handle the distance from a bad draw mindful that he was unlikely to draw well in the Golden Horseshoe. He worked hard to get to the front, he needed to, and he was then found wanting. But he was giving 4kg to the winner and was beaten 2,25 lengths and he gave 2kg to the runner up and was beaten 2,15 lengths. Both the winner and runner up had good draws too. So I was not disappointed with the horse or the ride. But he would have had to be able to overcome the draw and win the race if he was to prove himself as good as his father.”
Argonaut (Western Winter) won the Golden Horseshoe, which was a Grade 1 back then in 2007, by a comfortable 2,5 lengths, before going on to put up a scintillating performance at Clairwood in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes, winning by five lengths. 
Argo Alley has drawn five in the Golden Horseshoe and if able to reproduce the performance of that second win he has a chance of defying his 14/1 odds.
Gray said, “He has a far better draw and it’s level weights, so this race should be far more to his liking than the Turffontein Standside event (Turffontein Standside has a tougher 1400m than Greyville.) Provided things go his way I am hoping for a big run. One or two of the opposition look exceptional, so he will have to be able to put it together on the day.”
Gray, who has had “30 fantastic years in the game”, is slowly diminishing his numbers as he is coming close to reaching what he believes will be a good age for retirement.
Picture: Argo Alley records his second win in scintillating fashion. (JC Photos).