Legislate wins after objection
There was high drama and a dramatic twist to the outcome of the 2014 Vodacom Durban July, with the final result resting with the stipendiary stewards.
An objection is not the scenario anyone would have wished for prior to the race and the result of this one will be debated ad nauseam for years to come.
Outsider Wylie Hall (33-1) and second favourite Legislate (5-1) fought a desperate duel over the final 600m with the pair coming together on at least four occasions. The official winning margin was a head with Futura third and Tellina in fourth.
The horses had barely cross the finishing line than jockey Richard Fourie raced back to lodge a protest. The general consensus on course was that the result would stand but after a lengthy deliberation the stipendiary stewards reversed the result, giving the race to Legislate.
As predicted, pace was always going to be a problem with no natural front-runner to set the gallop. As a result Richard Fourie took matters into his own hands and sent Legislate to the front.
“His instructions were to drop the horse in but he used his initiative,” said assistant trainer Jonathan Snaith. “From his wide draw he went to the front and then moved onto the rail, forcing runners to go around him.”
The first to go was Wylie Hall followed by Halve The Deficit with Legislate next best.
At the top of the straight Legislate moved in to challenge Wylie Hall and these two fought neck and neck to the line. However, after giving Wylie Hall an initial bump, Wylie Hall began shifting out and slowly carried Legislate across the track making contact on at least three occasions.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who was watching from behind on King Of Pain, said he thought the objection result was justified. “I watched “MJ” carrying Richard across and I said to him on the way back that I thought he was in trouble.”
There were some other hard luck stories. In the early scrimmaging Louis The King clipped the heels of Captain America and nearly fell while Rake’s Chestnut took a hefty bump and was forced very wide. Earlier, Captain America, who was pulling hard for his head, clipped the heels of In The Fast Lane and also pecked badly.
The victory cemented Justin Snaith’s unassailable position at the top of the training log with less than a month of the season still to run.