Joey Ramsden reports The Conglomerate on song in his bid to become the first dual winner of the Vodacom Durban July since El Picha at the turn of the century – although he believes the advantage lies with Edict Of Nantes in the same Mayfair Speculators colours.
He said: “The Conglomerate is just as well as he was when he won last year but the three-year-olds have to have a massive chance. For the first time in years they have handicapped a three-year-old to win and Edict Of Nantes will have to really fluff his lines not to.”
Anton Marcus, bidding for his fifth July win, was quizzed by Neil Andrews on Tellytrack’s Kenilworth coverage on Saturday about his decision to prefer the Brett Crawford runner.
He said: “It was a very hard decision. As much confidence as I have in Edict Of Nantes I have ridden The Conglomerate in his last two starts and I think he could have the run of the race. He is definitely one of the older horses to beat.
“Edict Of Nantes is a better horse on a galloping course but I think he is untapped. I am holding thumbs that he gets a trouble-free race. That is the most important thing.”
Bernard Fayd’Herbe had words of encouragement for supporters of top weight Marinaresco, saying: “We are hoping for a big run. He has a nice draw, we just need luck in running and things to happen for us in the race.”
Cup Trial winner Elusive Silva, scratched after injuring his off-fore during last Thursday’s July gallops, will miss the rest of the season and most of next season too.
Justin Snaith said: “He stumbled badly on a cut-up bit of track, injured himself and will be out for a year.”
The public gallops before the Sun Met and the July play an important role in the build-up and promotion of these two races and are popular with the public but the former champion trainer has long been opposed to them.
He said: “I didn’t want to gallop Elusive Silva and he didn’t need a gallop, and what happened to him is the reason I don’t like them.”
Richard Fourie, successful on Legislate three years ago, got the call for first reserve Horizon almost immediately and said: “Obviously I am very disappointed at what happened to Elusive Silva but I’m pleased to get a ride in the race, particularly on a horse with a decent chance like Horizon.”