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Dean Kannemeyer’s Waterberry Lane burst into the Hollywoodbets July picture at Hollywoodbets Greyville today after a scintillating victory in the Grade 3 Byerley Turk over 1400m under in-form Keagan de Melo.
The Soft Falling Rain gelding ran in the colours of the recently late Mike Rattray and the 42 relatives of his gathered on his farm today would have seen the timing of the victory as most fitting.
Waterberry Lane is by the sprint-miler type Soft Falling Rain out of a Fort Wood mare Gain Ground, whose only win was over 1600m.
However, Soft Falling Rain is the sire of yesterday’s Grade 1 SA Derby runner up Zeus and Gain Ground is from the family of Western Winter gelding Bound To Travel, who won the Listed Darley Arabian over 1900m.
Waterberry Lane was also much more relaxed than usual in the running in his first run after gelding.
So, all of the above considered, he might get further than his current record suggests and miler types have won the July before with the Cape horse Flaming Rock (1991) being the best example.
Waterberry Lane has won five times from 1200m to 1400m and in his two attempts over a mile he finished a 1,55 length fourth in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes and was later beaten 6,60 lengths in the Grade 1 Cape Guineas without excuses.
Kannemeyer revealed he had been haemo-concentrating at the time of the Guineas and Rattray thus gave him permission to geld.
Kannemeyer was  emotional during the winning interview and pointing to the heavens said, “Mike I WILL enter him in the July.”
It was Rattray’s lifelong dream to win the July and sadly went unaccomplished.
Kannemeyer has won the July three times starting with the great Dynasty (Fort Wood) in 2003, who ironically beat the Rattray-homebred superstar Yard-Arm.
His 2006 winner Eyeofthetiger (Royal Academy) burst into the July picture in similar vein to Waterberry Lane when producing a devastating finish over 1900m at Greyville in an Allowance Plate on May 12 that year, his first outing for three-and-a-half months, his previous start having been a narrow 0,30 length third in the Grade 1 Cape Derby.
Waterberry Lane was coming off a similar length break.
Kannemeyer’s other July winner was in 2015 with the four-year-old Power King (Silvano), who arrived in KZN under the radar that year.
Hollywoodbets have Waterberry Lane at 33/1 for the big race.
The consistent Lorenzo Karriem-trained Hasta Manana (William Longsword) was a 2,50 length second in the Byerley Turk and the Glen Kotzen-trained Never Ending Rain made it a first and third for Soft Falling Rain.
Also at yesterday’s meeting the Grade 3 Umzimkhulu Stakes over 1400m was duly won by the Corne Spies-trained Supreme Quest (Querari). She was the best in at the weights in the level weights event off a 108 merit rating and displayed a fine turn of foot from midfield to beat the Kotzen-trained Kailene (Jackson) by 1,40 lengths. The Mike de Kock-trained Bold Act (Act Of War) was next best.
Earlier, the Kotzen-trained Cat Daddy (Ideal World) kept going well to win the Listed Kings Cup over 1600m under  Craig Zackey from Shampompo Shampizi (Var) with Native Tongue (Master Of My Fate) next best.
The Listed Kwa-Zulu Natal Stakes over 1000m was won by the Sean Tarry-trained raider Full Velocity (Philanthropist) under that man De Melo with Favorita (Gimmethegreenlight) and Varvacious (Var) next best.
Picture: Waterberry Lane is eased down before the line in yesterday’s Byerley Turk (Candiese Lenferna).