Rainbow Bridge has been installed 15-10 favourite by the sponsors to gain July compensation in the World Sports Betting Champions Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday fortnight.
But the runner-up in the Vodacom Durban July has enjoyed mixed fortunes in recent runnings of the Champions Cup. Marinaresco won it 2016 but the previous year Punta Arenas finished second last and in 2014 Wylie Hall (relegated to second in the July) managed only third last in the Champions Cup. In 2017 and 2018 the July second did not even run in the Champions Cup.
Last Sunday’s Turffontein winner Buffalo Bill Cody is 3-1 second favourite for the nine furlong R1 million Grade 1 with 12-1 quoted about July third Twist Of Fate, Soqrat, Oh Susanna and Cirillo. Eyes Wide Open, third in last year’s Champions Cup and fourth in the July, is next on 14-1 together with Undercover Agent whose trainer Brett Crawford has won four of the last six runnings of the Champions Cup.
Sean Tarry is now considered by the bookmakers to be virtually unassailable in his bid to become champion trainer for the fourth time in five seasons. He leads current champion Justin Snaith by some R2.5 million and is variously quoted at 1-2 and 7-20. Snaith and Mike de Kock (close behind Snaith) are both between 3-1 and 15-4.
The championship is decided on NHA figures which exclude sales races. The Sporting Post considers this unfair and its statistics (which put Tarry nearly R6 million clear) include these high value races. The racing paper has a point – the sales races are worth so much that they have become prime targets for all owners and trainers with eligible horses.
By Michael Clower