Snaith relieved after draw
PUBLISHED: June 24, 2015
Justin Snaith breathes a little easier after the draws yesterday when he drew the last single digit draw for his champion Futura…
Justin Snaith was breathing a lot easier after top weight Futura drew 6 in the draw for next Saturday’s R3,5million Gr 1 Vodacom Durban July. The 18-horse field with two reserve runners was announced and the draw made at a function at Greyville yesterday.
Snaith was left in suspense as his name was one of the last to be pulled from the hat to make the draw for Futura with only one single figure gate left.
A visibly relieved Snaith comments, “I’m extremely happy with the draw. I couldn’t have asked for better. The horse is working like a train and although 60kg is a worry I’m very happy the way things are going.”
However, his other entry Dynamic was made first reserve. “I’m a bit disappointed that he did not get in. I think he deserved a place ahead of a few that did make the field. But you never know. Things can change.”
Not so lucky was Joey Ramsden who pulled 20 for The Conglomerate who will be ridden by crack Australian apprentice Chad Schofield, son of former top South African jockey Glyn.
Joey Ramsden was understandably disappointed with his 20 draw. “What can I say? I’m disappointed with the draw; yes. Is the horse working well; yes? What will be, will be!
“Chad comes highly recommended. They were impressed with him in the UK and he’s got a contract to ride in Hong Kong so he’s obviously got something. He seems to be a bit of a maverick and I like that in a jockey.”
Mike de Kock, after a string of wide draws in the last couple of years, pulled 1 and 5 for his two fillies Majmu and Pine Princess although he was none to confident.
“Majmu is going to have to run out of her skin to win at the weights and let’s be honest she has a mountain to climb. She only raced to her rating of 114 when she was two! However, she is a very good filly and very honest. Barring her missing her last run she has had a good prep.”
Of Pine Princess he said, “With that draw and at the weights she has to be very good each way value.”
Assistant trainer Deshone Steyn stood in for Sean Tarry he said Legal Eagle was still in Jo’burg. “He is doing very well. I’m not worried about the draw (11) as he comes from off the pace and it must be mentioned that this is his peak run.”
“French Navy is also still in Jo’burg and Sean says he is doing very well and is a big runner based on his Daily News run.” He drew alongside Legal Eagle in 10.
The traditional July gallops take place at Greyville on Thursday morning starting at 7am and will be televised live on Dstv channel 239.
By Andrew Harrison
Picture: Futura (Nkosi Hlophe)
Fourie off to Hong Kong
PUBLISHED: June 24, 2015
Stable jockey for Justin Snaith, Richard Fourie will be giving up his position to move to Hong Kong…
Richard Fourie is giving up his plum job as stable jockey to Justin Snaith to leave for Hong Kong on August 22.
This will be the second Hong Kong stint for Fourie,29, who was much in demand there in the 2012/13 season when he rode 34 winners and only two other jockeys had more rides.
Fourie said yesterday: “They (the Hong Kong Jockey Club) have asked me to go back every season since and if I keep saying no they will eventually stop asking me.
“Anyway I’m only giving up here for a little while. I will be back in a season or two but it will be good experience and a nice opportunity. Things have changed since I was last there. Dougie Whyte is no longer number one and Joao Moreira has beaten all his records.”
Fourie decided not stay on in 2013, partly because his two young daughters found life there a strain but he said: “They are older now and Hong Kong should be a lot easier on the family this time.”
He has done well since his return, notably winning last year’s Vodacom Durban July on Legislate – “I have a special bond with that horse”- and he might well now be one of the contenders for the championship had it not been for that horrific Rising Sun Gold Challenge fall that caused him to miss much of the early part of the season.
By Michael Clower
Picture: Richard Fourie (Nkosi Hlophe)
The countdown begins
PUBLISHED: June 23, 2015
After the announcement of the Vodacom Durban July final field and draws it seems that the most fancied runners have the better draws…
The Vodacom Durban July Final Field and Draw ceremony took place at Greyville today and most of the fancied runners landed pleasing barrier positions.
The unlucky horse to be left out of the field of 18 was Dynamic, who at 25/1 in the ante-post market was quietly fancied by many, although he is the first reserve. He looked to be one of a few horses contesting three places left open by the scratchings of Legislate, Ertijaal and No Worries.
Helderberg Blue was another of these and although Dynamic has beaten him three times from four meetings, the 3,5kg swing Helderberg Blue will get in his favour for a 0,75 length beating by Dynamic in the Cup Trial last time, together with the fact that Helderberg Blue placed third in one of the country’s premier races, the J&B Met, probably swung it in Helderberg Blue’s favour. Tamaanee had genuine excuses for her below par Gr 1 Woolavington run and will be only 1,5kg under sufferance in the July, compared to Dynamic’s 2,5kg, while both Ice Machine and Hot Ticket have high merit ratings and will be in the handicap. Dynamic is the first reserve and second reserve is KRA Guineas runner up and Daily News 2000 fifth-placed Mac De Lago, who is 3kg under sufferance.
The popular grey filly Majmu drew one of the loudest cheers of the ceremony when her four-times July-winning trainer Mike de Kock drew pole position.
Next up was the part-owner of Punta Arenas, Mike Fullard, and this horse drew badly in a big race for the umpteenth time in 19.
Weiho Marwing’s Wylie Hall will have plenty of sentimental support, due to the controversial objection last year which saw him demoted from first to second, and there was spontaneous applause when he drew two.
The fancied The Conglomerate drew wide out in 20.
By the time the original favourite Futura’s chance arrived there were not many single figure draws left and trainer Justin Snaith must have feared the worst. However, he drew perfectly in six and Snaith returned to the table highly relieved. Earlier, he had been most disappointed at the omission of Dynamic.
The new ruling favourite Legal Eagle’s draw was also keenly anticipated and jockey Anton Marcus was happy with barrier position eleven.
The fancied French Navy landed a nice draw of ten.
The two reserves Dynamic and Mac De Lago drew 17 and four respectively, so horses above them in the draw will come in a position or two, unless there are any scratchings.
By David Thiselton
Picture: Majmu (JC Photo)
2015 VODACOM DURBAN JULY FINAL FIELD & DRAWS
PUBLISHED: June 23, 2015
The final field and draws for the big one – the Vodacom Durban July…
Chad Schofield gets July ride
PUBLISHED: June 23, 2015
It’s a real privilege to have Glyn Schofield’s son Chad riding in his home town aboard The Conglomerate…
Young riding superstar Chad Schofield will return to the country of his birth to have his first ride in the Vodacom Durban July aboard the fancied Joey Ramsden-trained The Conglomerate.
It will be the first time the Australian-based Chad has ridden in South Africa. However, he is sure to receive plenty of valuable advice on the ins and outs of the tight Greyville circuit from his father Glyn, a top South African jockey who was based in Durban before relocating to Australia in December 2007. Furthermore, Glyn’s former riding agent Blane Hamilton has been attempting to secure more rides on the big day for Chad, so he should have had some feel of the course by the time the July starts. Hamilton confirmed Chad was very excited in anticipation of this opportunity.
Ramsden said these days it was becoming increasingly difficult to find lightweight jockeys and the connections had decided to begin looking around when no phone calls for the ride were forthcoming. He added they had considered a number of options on who to bring in, so the decision had not been made lightly. Ramsden said The Conglomerate had been doing very well at Summerveld. The three-year-old Australian-bred Lohnro colt is back in full fast work after being given a bit of a lighter schedule for a couple of weeks after his third place in the Daily News on May 30. The astute trainer should thereby have him peaking at exactly the right time. The Conglomerate was as short as 7/1 for the July after his impressive win in the Gr 2 KRA Guineas, but has drifted out to 14/1 in the face of support for the like of Legal Eagle and French Navy.
Glyn has ridden in seven Julys and his best finish was sixth on The Sheik in 2001. He benefitted enormously from a stint in Hong Kong about ten years ago and it was clear upon his return to South Africa that he had progressed into a world class jockey. In the next couple of seasons in South Africa he often outrode his colleagues simply through his peerless judgement of pace.
He has clearly been an inspiration to Chad, who took the Australian racing scene by storm after making his debut in 2010. Chad is the only jockey to win the apprentice title in both Melbourne and Sydney, a feat that is unlikely to ever be repeated. Still in his early 20s, he has already notched up a number of important wins, most notably aboard Shamus Award in the 2013 Cox Plate which provided him with his first Gr 1 success.
He added three more Gr 1s to his CV in 2014, the Newmarket Handicap on Lankan Rupee, the Champagne Stakes on Go Indy Go and the Queensland Derby on Sonntag. Injuries and suspensions have curtailed Chad’s time in the saddle but he is still very much in demand. Last week he travelled to ride Australian trainer David Hayes’ New Zealand-bred raider Criterion in the Gr 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting. They finished a respectable 3,75 length fifth. He was also recently granted a six month license to ride next season in Hong Kong, one of the world’s biggest racing stages.
By David Thiselton
Picture: Chad Schofield