Rainbow Bridge’s supporters in yesterday’s Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville could have begun counting their winnings by the time they reached the Drill Hall.
On a day with a tailwind it seemed likely that the inside drawn horses would want to hold their positions as the leader in a small seven horse field was always going to attempt to dictate rather than set strong fractions.
Instead Rainbow Bridge was allowed an easy lead from draw seven and when he began dictating there was no way a top horse like him was ever going to be caught.
He duly skipped away at the top of the straight and the others could only chase in vain.
Vardy, who had been the pick of the parade ring, ran on valiantly from last and did well to finish a 0,90 length second in a time two seconds slower than last year’s renewal which was won by Do It Again.
Do It Again put up his best performance this season yesterday to run a 1,30 length third.
However, it seems likely the handicappers will drop him a couple of points now and he might receive a little bit of weight from Rainbow Bridge in this year’s Vodacom Durban July, which he will be attempting to win for a record-breaking third time.
Rainbow Bridge had a respiratory infection when first arriving at Summerveld this season so trainer Eric Sands has done a fine job getting him back to his magnificent best.
He is never going to be a parade ring horse and a bit of sweat on him in the preliminaries, as he had yesterday, should never be of any concern.
It is the race that counts and this now five-year-old Ideal World gelding’s career record now reads eight wins, including three Grade 1s, and eight places in 16 starts.
By David Thiselton