Andre Nel is happy with his Vodacom Durban July contender Head Honcho and the sizeable gap between his runs has been part of the plan.
Assistant trainer Byron Foster spoke of how Head Honcho had “definitely” become “sharper” following a gallop three weeks before the July gallops.
Jockeys Keagan de Melo was pleased with his demeanour in the pull up area after the July gallop.
He said he had a good bounce in his step all the way back to the parade ring, suggesting he had recovered well from the workout.
Nel said because Head Honcho was now an older horse he had been able to look back on his career and see what had worked with him and what hadn’t. He said the type of gaps they had given him into this race, seven weeks from his last race which followed a layoff since the Sun Met, had seemed to have worked well for him so that was how they had planned to take him into the July.
He concluded, “He’s feeling good, he’s a sound horse, we’re happy with where we have him at the moment.”
They have Run Red in the Grade 3 Betting World 2200 and said, “Tough race for him, but a lot’s going in his favour. I think he is a decent type of a horse and has a lowish weight and a fair draw. He’s coming into the race pretty well and he will give a good account of himself.”
The yard fancy Red Shift in the last race over 1400m on the poly as he fine form over that course and distance. His last run on turf over 1600m did not pan out at all well and can probably have a line drawn through it.
They run Q The Music in the Listed Engen Performance Stakes over 1600m and Nel said, “He’s a fair type of a horse and always tries hard enough so he won’t be far off them.”
By David Thiselton