BOOKMAKERS have suspended ante-post betting on the 2017 Vodacom Durban July after Friday night’s Betting World 1900 at Greyville, which left a few good pointers but perhaps twice as many question marks in a blurred picture.

From what transpired, three runners are more or less assured of July participation – the facile and most impressive winner Ten Gun Salute, second-placed Tilbury Fort and third-placed It’s My Turn. They will probably go in together as a “1900 unit” – there may have to be discretion about Tilbury Fort, but it will be hard for the panel to include the 1900’s first and third and leave Tilbury out.  Yeehaa, the regular pre-July bull fights are coming!

Not many would have deemed Dean Kannemeyer’s Silvano colt Mr Winsome a serious July contender before the 1900 but based on his fourth place he will also be hard to leave out, considering he had the original ante-post favourite Elusive Silva 1.25-lengths behind him, giving him 2kg.

Elusive Silva’s run was neither here nor there – mildly disappointing but he probably ran to his 99 rating.  His early backers are in trouble, though he may still get in as there are bound to be a few higher-rated and other scratchings which may or may not leave an open spot. The same goes for Banner Hill.

As for Prince Of Wales, Macduff, Master Switch and Copper Pot –they’re simply not going to make the final field, while Nebula’s win in a Pinnacle Plate last night in field including 2016 winner The Conglomerate brings him firmly into the picture.

Here is what we can say, definitively:

Marinaresco 2016 form and his current well-being will make him the horse to beat.

Heavenly Blue has automatic entry due to his SA Classic win; Al Sahem qualifies with his SA Derby win, Edict Of Nantes is in with the Cape Derby to his name. Three-year-old form looks strong, and if one assumes that last night’s place-getter Tilbury Fort is well inferior to stablemate Al Sahem,  Anthony Delpech will be getting on the phone to Sean Tarry this morning to secure a July ride on the Derby winner.

Ten Gun Salute will get preferential treatment due to his 1900 win and rightly so – he was super impressive and the Duncan Howells stable and Muzi Yeni deserve accolades. Howells praised his team for hard work in getting him ready despite some niggles, pre-race. He represents much of the best 2016 form, a factor that brings the likes of Bela-Bela, Black Arthur and Mac De Lago well into the fray too.

We have an interesting few weeks ahead of us!

Photo: Ten Gun Salute (Muzi Yeni), after the Betting World 1900.