Geoff Woodruff and his team have been “befuddled” by the performance of Vodacom Durban July candidate Deo Juvente in last Sunday’s Gr 3 Jubilee Handicap at Turffontein, where he was pulled out of the race, because upon subsequent veterinarian examination he has been found to be both healthy and sound.
The Gold Circle July selection panel have been notified.
Furthermore, Woodruff has made the offer to publicly gallop Deo Juvente in front of television cameras this weekend to prove it.
The yard had expected Deo Juvente to win the Jubilee and he duly started favourite.
Woodruff said the four-year-old Trippi gelding had been “working up a storm” in the lead up, so it had come as a “sickening blow” when he was pulled up at the 100m mark after making little impression in the straight.
The race had panned out badly for Deo Juvente virtually from the word go. He jumped from stall nine and after being taken into a prominent position was kept wide by Diesel Jet who forged through into third position. Jockey Piere Strydom then attempted to slot him in behind Diesel Jet but Chase Maujean held his position on Rainy Day Blues and Deo Juvente took a bump in the process. Easing him back again Strydom was unable to slot in behind Rainy Days Blue as the latter was being tracked by Judicial. Deo Juvente eventually found cover at about the 900m mark behind Rainy Day Blues after Judicial had been eased back on to the rail in last place. However, despite the lack of cover, Deo Juvente had not over raced at all. A better effort would have been expected in the straight than the flat one he produced, although in his defence there was notable kick back from the top of the straight up to the point he began dropping back.
The stipendiary report on the race stated, “DEO JUVENTE not striding out left front. Veterinary report required prior to entry. Assistant Trainer T Woodruff was advised.”
However, Strydom said today (Friday), “It was more than that. I battled to overcome the draw as he was just never travelling throughout the race. Eventually when he wasn’t going to place and under the circumstances I had to look after the horse.”
Deo Juvente, once prominent in the July betting, has drifted out to 25/1.
The final field will be announced on Tuesday, 21 June 2016, live on Tellytrack (DSTV 239) at 12:50 and Deo Juvente supporters will be on tenterhooks.