VDJ panellists face ‘relatively easy’ task

PUBLISHED: 24 June 2019

Eyes Wide Open (Candiese Marnewick)

The Vodacom Durban July final field panellists often face a nightmare but this year they look to have a relatively easy task if the last July log and recent results are the guideline.

The final field of 18 and two reserves as well as the draws will be announced at a function at Gateway tomorrow (Tuesday).

The last July log was published on June 3.

Subsequent events have not complicated matters.

Eyes Wide Open (Candiese Marnewick)
Eyes Wide Open (Candiese Marnewick)

Roy Had Enough won the Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby at Scottsville on Saturday so deserves to be given the place vacated in the top 18 by the scratching of Hero’s Honour.

The result of the Grade 3 Cup Trial run on June 8 did not cause any headaches.

The winner Kampala Campari is not a July entry, the runner up Eyes Wide Open had already earned his place by winning the Grade 2 WSB 1900. The third and fourth-placed horses Doublemint and Made To Conquer ran well enough not to be dropped from their positions of 11th and 17th respectively on the last log.

The Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge did not cause any problems either as all of the July entries in that race had already earned their berths.

The traditional Johannesburg July pointer, the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap, was won by Barahin, who had already earned his berth. July entries Shenanigans and Dazzler finished second and fourth respectively but they are both merit rated in the 90s and did not do enough to warrant inclusion.

Miyabi Gold, winner of the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m last year and the Listed Scarlet Lady over 1750m this year, was 18th on the last July log and Fresnaye was 16th. The latter won the Grade 3 Victress Stakes over 1800m in December and in the SA Champions Season she has finished a close fourth in the WSB 1900 on favourable weight terms and then won a Pinnacle Stakes race over 1600m.

These two fillies might come under pressure for their incumbent positions.

Their competition for a place will likely be Bunker Hunt, who caught the eye running on strongly for third in the strongly contested Grade 2 KRA Guineas, Charles, who has finished runner up in both the Grade 1 Cape Derby and Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby, log 20th placed Zillzaal, who placed in all three legs of the SA Triple Crown including finishing second in the Grade 1 SA Derby, log 19th-placed Camphoratus, who won the Grade 1 Empress Club Stakes, and possibly Elusive Silva, who finished third in the July last year.   

So the final field as it stands and barring further scratchings will likely be Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge, Hawwaam, Return Flight, Head Honcho, Twist Of Fate, Lady In Black, Legal Eagle, Tilbury Fort, Eyes Wide Open, Made To Conquer, Magnificent Seven, Divine Odyssey, Barahin, Roy Had Enough, Doublemint and then any two of Fresnaye, Bunker Hunt, Charles, Camphoratus, Zillzaal, Elusive Silva and Miyabi Gold.

By David Thiselton