Dean Kannemeyer is a man for the big event, his horses have won South Africa’s premier race on three occasions, Dynasty, Eyeofthetiger and Power King who races in the silks of Lady Christine Laidlaw’s Kaya Stables silks.
The talent in his stable has been a little thin on the ground in recent season’s but Kannemeyer will have some indication on what his chances are for this year’s Vodacom Durban July when Silva’s Bullet lines up in The Sledgehammer on the Greyville poly on Sunday.
The race was abandoned last Sunday at Scottsville after persistent rain rendered the track around the turn un-raceable. It was re-scheduled for Greyville on Sunday but the switch to the poly has seen the defection of the two Snaith runners, Made To Conquer and Platinum Prince.
Entries were re-opened and Frank Robinson took advantage entering Roy Had Enough and Top Classman, as did Johan Janse van Vuuren who will saddle Doosra.
However, the Snaith defections have left the way clear for Silva’s Bullet who gets an opportunity to enhance his prospects of a place in the VDJ. Silva’s Bullet has some smart recent Cape form and has not been out of the money in seven starts. He is an improving gelding and just how far he has come and his prospects for Champions Season should be revealed come Sunday.
Cape Derby winner Eyes Wide Open is the proven class in the field but he has been winless since beating Do It Again in that Grade 1 event
In his defence, he was up against the cream during the Cape summer and was only five lengths back to Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again in the Sun Met at his last outing.
He is not the greatest traveller and this his first outing in three months carrying top weight could be a bridge too far at this stage of his prep for the VDJ.
Shenanigans is a lightly raced five-year-old having his third outing after a break and was close-up last start and along with Orpheus who won his last two against weaker can finish in the money.
After a stuttering start to his training career where he switched from Summerveld, to Richmond and back, Wayne Badenhorst appears to have settled in at Summerveld and one needs to take all his runners into account.
That said, picking winners out of barrier trials is fraught with danger but Badenhorst’s filly Mai Tai
caught the eye in a smart trial at Scottsville. In a quality trial field, she struck is a big solid filly with plenty of scope, a fine example of the progeny of first season sire Vercingetorix who has tongues wagging. She finished off her gallop smartly and could be good enough to get punters off to a winning start.
Glen Kotzen’s colt Master Jay can follow up in the second. He started favourite in both starts and although fluffing his lines on debut there were no mistakes next time out as he ran out an easy winner. A son of Jay Peg, he should enjoy the extra 300m and may be the one to beat in a competitive field.
Spring Fling looked a winner at Scottsville last outing at Scottsville when starting favourite but was run out of it of late as Tripple Z arrived on the scene late. He can do better in the opening leg of the PA but in Al Jazeera, he faces a two-year-old who showed up well from a poor draw on debut. This field is not filled with stars and Gavin van Zyl’s colt could prove too good for most of this line-up.
By Andrew Harrison