The Vodacom Durban July runners were put through their paces at the traditional pre-race gallops at Hollywoodbets Greyville today. None were given hard workouts but they did parade their wellbeing.
Rainbow Bridge, top weight for Saturday, 3 July, looked a picture of health in the paddock and was the first to gallop. He did it effortlessly from the 1400m mark under big race rider Luke Ferraris and trainer Eric Sands was well pleased with his work.
“He’s had a much better preparation this year and is in a good space,” said Sands although he expressed reservations about his charge having to give weight to the entire field.
Three-year-olds Linebacker and Rascallion worked together. Rascallion went well clear allowing Linebacker to run at him over the final two furlongs and they finished together. Vaughan Marshall was pleased with the work and said both would be spot on come the big day. “But don’t ask me to choose between the two,” he laughed.
Do It Again, back-to-back winner of the race and third last year, put up an impressive gallop – along with Rainbow Bridge – the best of the morning clocking the fastest 400m to finish time while racing hard into the bit. Justin Snaith appears to have got the gelding back to his peak after a recent spell in the relative wilderness.
Warren Kennedy was comfortable with the work from his big race mount, She’s A Keeper and was hopeful of a good run. “We don’t quite know where we stand with her. But we do know that she is very good. The race will tell,” he said.
Kommetdieding was the final gallop and Michelle Rix will be hoping for a change of fortune after luckless runs in the WSB Guineas and the Daily News 2000. He has the widest draw to contend with but big race rider Gavin Lerena was not fazed. “I’ll play it by ear. He put up good work this morning.” He did appear to be a little keen but Lerena said he was doing it well within himself.
The seven Highveld-based horses worked at Turffontein but there is concern that Gauteng will go into a much stricter lockdown as the Corona virus has spread rapidly in that province and those horses may not be able to make the trip to KZN in time for the race.
Also galloping yesterday was ruling ante-post favourite for the Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes, Captain’s Ransom who put up a smart piece of work. “Race over,” was the assessment by jockey Richard Fourie. Journalist: Andrew Harrison