The Gr 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe for two-year-olds over 1400m also has the potential, traditionally, to be a stumbling block for exotic players on Vodacom Durban July day.
However, this year it is has some classy horses involved so exotic players will not be viewing it with the same dread they will be viewing the Golden Slipper.
Captain And Master put up an impressive workout alongside French Navy at the July gallops last Thursday. He cruised to an eye-catching three length victory in his second career start over 1200m at Scottsville on May 20. He will love the step up in trip to 1400m and has a plum draw with S’Manga Khumalo aboard.
Trojan Harbour looked classy when winning his last two starts, including the Listed Gatecrasher over this course and distance. He has early pace, relaxes well in the running and has a fine turn of foot. However, against him is a wide draw.
Ancestry is an impressive specimen and has had a reversal in draw fortunes with Trojan Harbour, so has a chance of reversing the Gatecrasher form, although he is 2kg worse off.
Varallo, runner up in the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion, is a classy type with plenty of scope for improvement and he should relish this step up in trip, so has a chance from pole position under Anton Marcus.
Hakeem impressed second time out when easily beating a weak field over 1400m. Mike de Kock has been doing exceptionally well with sons of Redoute’s Choice lately, so Hakeem has a chance from a fair draw under Delpech.
Naafer, a Grade 1 SA Nursery runner up, was a touch disappointing when fifth in the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion. He is out of a Listed-winning sprinter, but his Grade 1 Australian Cup (2000m) winning-sire Lonhro should see him appreciating this step up in trip. He has some class and Gavin Lerena rides, albeit from a wide draw.
Woljayrine finished 1,75 lengths clear of Naafer in the Medallion and has a chance of staying this trip, so is a dark horse from a good draw.
Varimax improved second time out when dropped from 1400m to 1200m and showed pace and a fine turn of foot, winning by 6,75 lengths.
On debut he was beaten by the progressive Purple Diamond over 1450m. The latter was having his second start in Jo’burg, having run a good fourth in a strong Listed race over 1200m at Kenilworth before that.
Neither of the latter mentioned pair can be ignored.
However, the rest of the field look to be up against it against the classy sorts mentioned.
Captain And Master is the selection to beat Trojan Harbour, with Ancestry, Hakeem and Varallo next best.