(Thursday, 16 May 2013)
Geoff Woodruff supplemented the promising three-year-old Jet Master colt, Master Sabina, for the Vodacom Durban July on Tuesday, which brought his number of July entries up to seven.
However, he said that one of them, Lockheed Jetstar, would not be ready for the race in time, as he had strained a suspensory ligament, and he was not enthusiastic about the chances of Sabadell qualifying for the race.
Woodruff has two of the most fancied horses in the race, the three-year-olds Yorker and Tellina, who are by Jet Master and Silvano respectively.
They are at 10-1 and 20-1 with Betting World respectively.
Woodruff said that both of these three-year-olds would run in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 on June 4.
This will be a particularly vital race for Yorker, who in five starts has won a Maiden and two handicaps.
He is currently merit rated 102 and is outside of the top 30 on the log, so will need to go close in the Daily News to qualify.
Yorker has impressed with his turn of speed in his wins to date.
However, they have all been on galloping courses and the question will be whether, as a big rangy type, he can turn it on quickly enough at the tight Greyville course.
Tellina won the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas and was then unlucky in the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m, when being struck on the face and failing by a short-head.
He started favourite for the Grade 1 SA Derby and came from last, as he did in Gauteng Guineas, to finish a 3,25 length fourth.
None of the three that beat him, Wylie Hall, Gothic and Wild One, ran in the Gauteng Guineas or the SA Classic, while the horse that finished just behind Tellina in both those races, War Horse, finished just behind him in the SA Derby too.
Therefore, the bookmakers might have got it wrong by pricing all of Wylie Hall (40-1), Gothic (200-1) and Wild One (66-1) at bigger odds than Tellina for the July as the latter appeared to stay the trip in the SA Derby, although in his defence he did have to come wide around the final turn.
Tellina’s turn of foot is unquestionably good, so he should be suited to the Greyville track, although he won't be able to afford to sit too far off them. Master Sabina has only had four starts and has won the last three of them.
Woodruff said, “He needs to do more, but we’ve put him in just in case he puts his hand up.”
Master Sabina will run in a handicap in Johannesburg before likely running in the Grade 3 Betting World Jubilee Handicap over 1 800m on June 9 at Turffontein.
That race is traditionally the last gasp qualifier for July hopefuls and Master Sabina will take a similar qualifying route that the lightly raced Eton Square took last year.
Eton Square won the Jubilee and ran a cracker in the July, finishing fourth.
Woodruff's three-year-old Silvano filly Do You Remember, who finished second to the ruling July favourite Cherry On The Top in all three legs of the Triple Tiara, will go for the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 on June 4 and would likely have to win it to get into the big race.
Woodruff said, “She’s doing well, but it's going to be tough for her. The entries for te July are so far out you never really know."
She is merit rated 101 and is among the ten horses that are just outside of the top 20 on the July log.
Woodruff's four-year-old Fort Wood gelding Red Fort has only had three starts, but those included an impressive 14,25 length victory in an 1 800m maiden and a third-place finish behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Master Plan in last season's Grade 2 Betting World Derby over 2 400m at Clairwood on June 24.
That was his last run as he required surgery to remove a chip from his near fore fetlock.
Woodruff described Red Fort as one with plenty of ability, but also as one that had a “very poor temperament.”
He has casued problems at the start before.
Woodruff will see how he comes along and will likely use the Jubilee as his qualifying race if he does decide to make a July bid.
Meanwhile, Woodruff revealed that his classy two-year-old filly Arcetri Pink had pulled up with a “sore back” after her disappointing unplaced effort in the Grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery.
He is aiming the Australian-bred Rock Of Gibraltar filly, who won the Grade 3 Pretty Polly Stakes over 1 100m in impressive style in her penultimate race, at the Grade 1 Golden Slipper on July day.
(Thursday, 16 May 2013)
What A Winter is to have a prep run in a pinnacle stakes before his bid to repeat last year’s win in the Mercury Sprint at Clairwood on July 13th even though there is not one in the schedule. Mike Bass said: “They have told me that they will put one on for him. I haven’t seen the horse since his Computaform Sprint win but the reports I’m getting are good and I will be in Durban for three or four days next week. I will also be there for June and July.”
The Mercury Sprint is expected to be the five-year-old’s last race before he retires to stand at the Drakenstein Stud. He has won 14 of his 24 starts including two Betting World Cape Flying Championships in addition to last season’s Mercury.
(Thursday, 16 May 2013)
Justin Snaith said that he was not sure whether True Master, his Grade 3 East Cape Derby winner, would come to Durban to try and qualify for the July.
He said, “They’ve got him way down the list on the July log , so I’m not sure whether it's worth bringing him. I have to discuss it with all of the connections.’’
The three-year-old jet Master colt has won five of eight starts, but is only merit rated 95. However, Snaith has a high regard for him. He said, “All of the jockeys rate him. I asked Piere (Strydom) if he compares with the best in Jo’burg and he said yes. You don’t win five out of eight if you’re not good. He is my Met horse for next year. I don’t think he’s a true 2 400m horse that’s for sure.’’
True Master would likely go for the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 on June 4 if the connections did decide to send him to Durban.
In other Champions Season news the Dennis Drier yard said that their top class three-year-old filly, Schiffer, who is back in full training after knee chip surgery, would not take part in any features this season.
They will aim her at the Cape Sizzling Summer seaon at the end of the year, where the fillies and mares sprint series and the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship next January at Kenilworth will be her obvious targets.
Meanwhile, Mike de Kock said that July second favourite Vercingetorix was doing well at Summerveld and his next start would be the Daily News 2000.