The Gavin van Zyl-trained Track & Ball Derby winner Marchingontogether’s next race will be in the Grade 3 Gold Cup on August 29, so he will thus be avoiding the Vodacom Durban July consolation race, the Grade 3 Campanajo 2200.
The Pathfork gelding will be attempting to emulate the respective 2017 and 2018 feats of Hermoso Mundo and It’s My Turn by completing a hattrick of Grade 3 staying race victories in the Gold Cup.
Van Zyl said, “I would like to have him going in to the Gold Cup with fresh legs.”
He has no doubt the big horse will see out the 3200m trip.
Van Zyl has won the Grade 3 Gold Vase twice but has never won the Gold Cup.
His Grade 1 SA Derby winner Seal won the Gold Vase in 2012 and Heart Of A Lion won it for him in 2015.
Seal went on to run a gallant fourth in the Gold Cup, which was still a Grade 1 back then, carrying topweight.
Van Zyl admitted Seal still edged it in comparison to Marchingontogether before adding, “But Marchingontogether is a very, very good horse.”
He said he had avoided the July this year with Marchingontogether as he felt he still had to prove himself at a lower level but he added that if winning the Gold Cup he would consider the July next year.
Marchingontogether was not given a merit rated raise for his Track & Ball Derby win, so the connections will be hoping It’s My Turn lines up in the Gold Cup. It’s My Turn remains on a 118 merit rating and Marchingontogether on 110, despite the former having received 1kg from the latter in Saturday and running a 1,1 length second.
Meanwhile, the Van Zyl-trained Gabor, who was Equus Champion two-year-old filly last season, is being prepared for the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes on Vodacom Durban July day.
The father and son team of Gavin and Gareth have won four Graded races this season and three other features between them.
Gareth scored his first Grade 1 victory two weekends ago when landing the Allan Robertson Championship with Vernichey. The latter also won the Grade 3 Strelitzia Stakes.
Gavin has won the Grade 3 races the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup and the Track & Ball Derby with four-year-old Marchingontogether.
Gavin has also won one Listed race and a Non-Black Type event and Gareth has won one Listed race.
It is ironic that Gareth’s star filly Vernichey is by Vercingetorix as the latter denied Gavin’s No Worries victory by a nostril in the 2013 running of the Grade 1 Daily News 2000, a race he had won with The Apache in 2011.
Nevertheless, the Voadacom Durban July is the race Gavin would most like to win in KZN followed by the Gold Cup, so he might achieve one of his major goals next month with Marchingontogether.