This picture adequately sums up why everybody wants a runner in the Hollywoodbets Durban July (Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media).
The Hollywoodbets Durban July betting board shows the Gr 2 WSB 1900 winner Pacaya and Gr 3 Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cup Trial winner Winchester Mansion as two of four horses who are joint second favourite for the big race.
Considering the skinny price of 8/1, it is obviously a little known fact that the pair will somehow have to leapfrog at least two horses who are above them in the qualifying process to make it into the all important top 18 when the final field plus two reserves is announced next Tuesday.
The supplementing for the big race of Trip Of Fortune on Tuesday morning made it even more difficult for the panelists.
However, the later scratching of both Cousin Casey and Zapatillas made the task a lo easier.
Trip Of Fortune will be the new incumbent topweight, as he is merit rated 127.
So, he will likely be high up in the qualifying process … unless the panelists decide that as a horse who has never raced beyond 1600m he does not warrant a place.
The five automatic qualifiers for the big race are See It Again, Puerto Manzano, Rain In Holland, Bless My Stars and Son Of Raj.
If Trip Of Fortune is indeed high up in the qualifying process then for both Pacaya and Winchester Mansion to make it into the top 18 they will have to leapfrog two of these horses: Trip Of Fortune, Do It Again, Safe Passage, Pomp And Power, Dave The King, Rascallion, Second Base, Without Question, Billy Bowlegs, Time Flies, Silver Darling, Jimmy Don and Nebraas.
The WSB 1900 and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins Cup Trial winners are given preferential consideration for the final field.
However, the difficulty is that after Pacaya’s WSB 1900 win he was only put at number 20 on the log.
Just taking the number 19 on the log, Nebraas, and the number 18 on the log, Jimmy Don, as examples of the task the panelists face:
Is it fair to drop Nebraas below Pacaya when neither have run since the final log publication?
Jimmy Don only ran fifth in Sunday’s Gr 3 Jubilee Stakes, but is it fair to drop him on the performance of a preparation run? His run on Sunday was well below his run in the Gr 1 WSB SA Classic, in which he actually beat the no. 16 on the log, Billy Bowlegs.
Winchester Mansion was not on the log at all, but won the Cup Trial impressively which gives grounds to put him into the top 18 … except that in the WSB 1900 Pacaya gave him 2kg and a beating.
Winchester Mansion was returning from a four month layoff in that race, but Pacaya was also returning from a layoff, albeit only two-and-a-bit months.
There are likely to be one or two disgruntled connections after the final field announcement next Tuesday, June 20.
But if Pacaya and Winchester Mansion do not make the final field, there will be a number of punters who will be more than just disgruntled.