There were no surprises in the Vodacom Durban July final field announcement today but there would have been a few gasps around the country during the draw ceremony.
The July logs were adhered too and as expected the vacant three places in the top 18 following the scratchings of Hawwaam, Snapscan and Eyes Wide Open were filled by Cup Trial winner Capoeira, Jubilee Handicap winner Divine Odyssey and Track & Ball Derby runner up It’s My Turn. The two reserves are Tristful and Hero’s Honours.
The draw procedure started on draw 13 then went incrementally up to 18 and then went down to one and incrementally up to 12.
When Justin Snaith’s runners appeared four times in the first six draws some were wondering whether the cards had been shuffled.
His fancied runners Belgarion, Do It Again and Bunker Hunt landed draws 17, 18 and 14 respectively. His expected pacemaker Silvano’s Pride landed draw 15 and his other female runner Miyabi Gold landed draw 4, meaning all five of Snaith’s runners were drawn in the first ten draws.
Eric Sands’ pair, Golden Ducat and last year’s runner up Rainbow Bridge, also came out together in draw one and two respectively.
The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Vardy drew nine. His stablemate Twist Of Fate, third last year, also drew well in barrier position six.
The leading three-year-old Got The Greenlight was first out the box and drew thirteen.
National champion trainer Sean Tarry’s pair Shango and Tierra Del Fuego drew positions seven and eleven respectively.
Potential pacemaker Padre Pio drew well in three, meaning Silvano’s Pride out in 15 might have her work cut out to get to the front.
Capoeira is also a potential pacemaker and drew in eight so there is a nice spread of draws among the potential frontrunners.
Mike De Kock, who like Snaith has won four July’s, has only one runner this year, Soqrat, and he drew nicely in five.
Although, connections would probably prefer to be drawn close to the middle, history indicates that the draw is not of much significance in the July.
By David Thiselton