There are a few hopefuls but barring Legal Eagle and overseas-bound Whisky Baron, most of the country’s top middle distance gallopers are among the first entries for the Gr1 R4,25 million Vodacom Durban July to be run over 2200m at Greyville on Saturday, 1 July 2017.
Entries closed at 11am yesterday and Gold Circle received 58 entries for Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event.
Legal Eagle may not be an entry but Champion Trainer Sean Tarry has loaded his gun with 16 entries that include the promising Al Sahem, filly Smiling Blue Eyes and recent Gr3 Byerley Turk winner Africa Rising who put his field to bed in impressive fashion in spite of still wearing a brushing boot that had not been removed at the start.
Justin Snaith, not to be out-done, has entered nine horses including the smart filly Bela-Bela, Byerley Turk runner-up Copper Force and dark horse, Black Arthur.
Candice Bass-Robinson will be pinning her hopes on last year’s runner-up Marinaresco while Captain America, French Navy, Mac de Lago and Heavenly Blue are other notable entries.
Of the local contingent, Duncan Howells has entered two runners from last year, fifth-placed Saratoga Dancer and Ten Gun Salute together with the smart filly Dawn Calling who has yet to race beyond 1600m.