Derek Brugman shares Joey Ramsden’s view that the advantage lies with the three-year-olds in Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July and the Mayfair Speculators racing manager is understandably keen on dual Grade 1 winner Edict Of Nantes.
He said: “Pace and luck in running are going to play a very large role in the outcome but I think the three-year-olds are well weighted and definitely have an advantage over the older horses because of their ratings – and if I had to pick one three-year-old to represent me it would be Edict Of Nantes.”
Brugman, a former bookmaker and a shrewd judge of form, believes the other Mayfair runner The Conglomerate has been well treated, saying: “For a previous winner of the July he is well weighted and he will be carrying only half a kilo more than he did last year. This time he has a draw, his prep has been great and I think he is a big runner.”
Brugman expects Sean Tarry to ensure the race is run at a decent gallop – “You would have to think that he will want a reasonable pace for Al Sahem because a crawl is not going to suit the horse and Sean is the type of guy who will take things by the scruff of the neck.”
Justin Snaith, bidding for a third July win, reckons that 33-1 shot Master Sabina is the dark horse in the field and explained: “He is a two-time Summer Cup winner and he has a lot of positives. He has a good weight and a good draw. Also he has run well in the July before, he gets every bit of the trip and he is doing very well at home.”
Black Arthur is the shortest priced of the Snaith quartet at 13-2 third favourite – “This time he has a good draw and he will be carrying a kilo less than last year (when he finished seventh from stall 17). He is doing exceptionally well.
“It’s My Turn (fourth last year and 8-1 this time) likes Greyville and is peaking at the right time while Piere Strydom in the July is worth two lengths.”
The stable’s fourth string is 50-1 rank outsider Krambambuli who is drawn one from the outside – “I’m not worried about that – most of the big races I’ve lost in Natal have been from inside draws and the July is often a rough race. I know this is a hard ask for Krambambuli but if it turns into a hard-run affair, with everyone bumping everyone, he could run into the money.”
Sun Met winner Whisky Baron arrived at Mary Slack’s Abington Place stables in Newmarket at the end of last week after completing his quarantine obligations in Mauritius and Britain.
Ross Kieswetter, who owns the gelding in partnership with elder brother Craig, said: “Brett Crawford and Mike de Kock are going to look after him from now on.”
The gelding may well run in Britain this year although the Dubai Carnival and, more particularly a crack at one of the big international races in Hong Kong, have been mentioned as the objectives.