Mike Azzie said if Triple Crown hero Abashiri was not at his peak on Saturday for the Vodacom Durban July he would be pretty close to it. He is also expecting a good run from Oomph in an earlier feature.
Azzie said he had to put out of his head everybody saying Abashiri had too much weight to carry in the July, “because this is not a normal horse, this is a special horse.”
The Go Deputy gelding with the giant stride carries 59kg, the biggest weight ever allotted to a three-year-old in the big race.
He has not run since winning the SA Derby on April 30, where he had to dig down deep. However, Azzie said the big horse’s work had been very good. He said big race jockey Karl Zechner was confident.
Abashiri certainly caught the eye at the July gallops and the exceptional turn of foot he has shown in his last two races should make him suited to Greyville.
Oomph has the second run for the yard in the Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m.
The Tiger Ridge colt was the talk of the town in Port Elizabeth after three facile wins over 1200m and he was then purchased by Azzie’s chief clients Adriaan and Rika van Vuuren.
However, Azzie said the colt had been well in need of his run in the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion, as they had backed off him in PE before he had arrived at Summerveld. He said the horse had tightened up and improved since the Medallion.
Azzie’s runner in the first over 1400m on the poly on Saturday, Peep Show, runs off an 83 merit rating compared to her 97 sand rating. However, she hasn’t run since January.
Azzie said he had seen Peep Show brighter than she currently was, and he would have liked her to be a little more crisp, but he was hoping she wouldn’t need it. He said if the four-year-old Ideal World filly reproduced her best on the sand she would be a tough nut to crack as she was capable of galloping flat out for a mile.
Azzie has July reserve runner Deputy Jud in the Gr 3 Delta Air Lines 2200m where he jumps from draw nine. His recent runner up finish in the Track And Ball Derby proved he was in a good space and his merit rating is unchanged, so he must have a shout.
Black Minnaloushe gelding Greek Legend has been a touch disappointing in three runs in KZN, but being a half-brother to Gold Cup winner Wavin’ Flag makes him an interesting runner in the Gr 3 SABC Gold Vase over 3000m.
The yard run Lazer Star in the Gr 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes. She was bought out of the Ormond Ferraris yard mainly for breeding purposes and on previous evidence the 1600m trip might stretch her, although she is drawn well and it is her third run for the yard.
Splendid Garden carries topweight in the eighth, the Compendium MR 103 handicap over 1000m on the poly, and has a tough draw of nine. However, he has come a point down in the merit ratings and this talented but temperamental sort can’t be ignored coming off two Gr 1s where he was not disgraced.