Do It Again will after all attempt to become the first since El Picha at the turn of the century to win the Vodacom Durban July two years running. The stable had previously been hesitant, suggesting the four-year-old would have too much weight, and indicating that the Rising Sun Gold Challenge and the Champions Cup would be more likely targets.
But Justin Snaith, boldly and typically, nailed the horse’s colours to the July mast in a revealing interview with James Goodman on Monday evening’s Winning Ways programme.
The champion trainer, in response to a direct ‘will he run?’ question from Goodman, said: “I think definitely. He just gets better and better, and he is improving all the time. He is one of those horses – and we said it when he won the July last year – that whatever he does at three he will be better next year and, wow, is he doing well. He is kicking out every five minutes. I have to keep him as chilled as possible until the big day.
“I think he can run the July with 60kg on his back and still be very competitive. I have seen the betting (Do It Again is 15-2 with Rainbow Bridge favourite at 6-1 and Buffalo Bill Cody second best on 7-1) and it won’t be that come raceday. Do It Again is a horse you have got to follow – in the Sun Met he was unlucky – everything that could possibly have gone wrong for this poor horse happened in those two minutes.”
Snaith did not have much to say about last year’s runner-up Made To Conquer (currently 28-1) – “It depends how he is weighted” – but he recommended Doublemint (14-1) and 55-1 shot Magnificent Seven. “They are two that you are not going to see much of in the winter season but they will be there on the right day. For those who want a bit of value for money these are two, not just of my runners but of the race in general.”
He also suggested backing Crown Towers next time despite the gelding finishing with only one behind him in last Sunday’s Byerley Turk. “He was fighting at the back, they slowed up the pace and he fought the whole way round the turn. Next time out in a 1 400m or a mile I will send him handy and I think we will see the best of him. Certainly a horse to follow.”
By Michael Clower