RACING’s Walking Encyclopedia Charles Faull employs the Weight-For-Age Scale (WFA) to find the winner of Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July.

Note: lb = pounds, and in racing terms 1lb = 0,5kg.
*Scroll to bottom for INform Race Card

Faull writes: This race is usually marred by a panic-stricken cavalry charge for position in the first 800 metres. Up to 30% of the runners could be hampered, carried wide, baulked, carried in, etc., etc.

Over the past 50 years the range of weight-for-age improvement for 3-Y-O runners, from this race to the Metropolitan in January, is from 0 to 14lb.

14lb improvers include Sea Cottage, Politician, Yataghan, London News, Futura, etc., so we can use the median of 7lb (3.5kg) as our THEORETICAL weight-for-age allowance.

Compared to top seed FRENCH NAVY, a now fully matured 4-Y-O, who is set to carry 60 kg, the average weight of 55.5 kg for the 3-Y-O’s represents an age allowance of 4.5 kg, which must bring the “55.5 kg 3-Y-O’s” into strong reckoning. Older horses (4-6 years) carrying the same weight as the 3-Y-O’s (55.5 kg) have a THEORETICAL advantage over WFA of 3.5 kg (=7.7 lb = 5 lengths) vis-à-vis their younger rivals.




  1. No older horse has trialled better than 5-Y-O SOLID SPEED; his 2 victories represent highly meritorious form; he has top-class speed and stamina; include in all bets! With a trouble-free run in a true run race, he should be a tough nut to crack.
  2. How does one interpret 4-Y-O MAC DE LAGO’s huge improvement to win the Gr1 Gold Challenge, beating FRENCH NAVY by 1.5 lengths at level weights? He could be even better than we have rated him!  Must be included in all exotic perms!
  3. THE CONGLOMERATE was running on strongly when 2.5 lengths behind FRENCH NAVY at levels in last year’s Daily News. He was wiped out by the traffic jam in the straight in last year’s July and yet finished a meritorious 5.35 lengths behind the winner on 7 lb worse terms than WFA. This is his first start back over his right distance, now as a mature 4-Y-O with Strydom up. Ignore at your own peril.
  4. DYNAMIC – a mature 6-Y-O by Dynasty who will probably be supreme at 2400 to 3200m. Ran a very good race AT THE WEIGHTS in the Campanajo (2200m) last year! Current form from 1600 to 1900m in Durban is excellent. From the best draw this horse is not an outsider here!
  5. ST TROPEZ – closed strongly when touched off in 1900m in Betting World; which we know is well short of his best. Respect Anton Marcus’s choice!
  6. SARATOGA DANCER – is another 4-Y-O with 55.5 kg who is bred to improve over this extra ground – his current form is good.
  7. FRENCH NAVY – Great horses have defied top weight to win the July. Greatness beckons. Only the race will tell. Good draw; loves Greyville. Must be included in exotic perms!
  8. MASTER SABINA – no recent form; impressive gallop; who knows?
  9. Justin Snaith on his three-year-olds: “ We are in a privileged position to have three brilliant 3-Y-O’s, all with top riders. All three are doing well, so luck in the running and handicap weight will be the decider. Our older runner DYNAMIC couldn’t be better. Anthony Delpech has chosen BELA-BELA because he feels she has the x-factor. BLACK ARTHUR is a machine (!) very special. IT’S MY TURN showed himself to be a top colt by winning the Cape Derby. All four can win if luck is with them.”
  10. MAMBO MIME gets his ideal trip for the first time. A young colt who brings a strong, progressive form line into the race. Big respect in a wide open quartet!
  11. MARINARESCO – beaten by ITS’ MY TURN in the Cape Derby, but seems to have improved since gelded. Grant van Niekerk describes him as “the best horse I have ridden”. He is a horse who likes to be dropped out, so draw of no concern.
  12. Two top-class 3-Y-O Australian colts, SAMURAI BLADE and TEN GUN SALUTE, are both bang in form and well drawn.
  13. ABASHIRI had to dig deep to resist ROCKETBALL in the S A Derby, so his weight of 59 kg is hard to reconcile with reality.
  14. ROCKETBALL and SAMURAI BLADE (close 3rd in S A Derby) both ran well in the Daily News crawl.
  15. IT’S MY TURN raced wide for a long way in the Daily News. He was closing strongly on RABADA and will be formiddable over the Greyville 2200 metres. This Gr1 Cape Derby winner may well develop into a super star. With Richard Fourie up, include in all perms.


As per INform Ratings, which reflect the above, Faull’s first six past the post would be:

  1. (8) SOLID SPEED
  3. (15) DYNAMIC
  4. (20) DEPUTY JUDD*

About The INform Race Card

The Inform Racecard on is a free mobile racecard produced by The Thoroughpedia Project team, only for Grade 1 race days, nationally.

Charles Faull does the Grade 1 Form Merit Ratings which also translates into the Best In On Ratings and Class Indicator tables. The short comments coupled with the FMR’s and tables are displayed in a simple way which hopes to help beginners and novices learn and understand the mind game of horse racing.

The mobile racecard is not betting-linked and is at this stage only meant to help beginners follow and understand racing, by making it freely available on modern media platforms and smartphones. One of Racing It’s A Rush’s aims is to make information about horse racing easily accessible and understandable to the general public (to help bridge the learning curve), this handy little race card is produced to enhance this drive.


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