All the top guns were among the first entries for this year’s R1.5 million Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July when nominations closed today.
The 52 horses nominated for the showpiece at Hollywoodbets Greyville, included two-time winner of the race Do It Again, who, if he triumphs on Saturday, July 25, will become the first horse in the 123-year history of South African’s most famous race to achieve the treble.
But Justin Snaith’s champion will not be short of opposition should all pan out with Hawwaam, Rainbow Bridge and Vardy also amongst the nominations.
Do It Again has not been out since a disappointing effort in the Sun Met at Kenilworth but put in a pleasing gallop at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Sunday and looks on track for a tilt at his third victory in the race.
A somewhat surprising omission was Sunday’s Grade 2 Wold Sport’s Betting Guineas winner, Wild Coast, but with two further entry dates, Snaith still has opportunity.
Hawwaam, the disappointment last year when scratched at the start, was back in business at Turffontein last Saturday with a convincing win in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. There are export issues to navigate before the race and his participation is not assured. If the European Union protocols are approved, Hawwaam will take his place but if the colt is to be exported via Mauritius he will need to be in quarantine before the race.
Rainbow Bridge, second last year, and second in the Sun Met, has not been seen out since the Met but will be out for revenge and give stalwart owner Mike Rattray the victory in a race he so desperately wants to win.
Stable companion to Rainbow Bridge and Grade 1 Cape Derby winner Golden Ducat, was an eye-catching third in last Sunday’s World Sport’s Betting Guineas and has also been nominated by trainer Eric Sands.
Vardy, a touch disappointing when third in the Grade 2 Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes last Sunday, was a cracking winner of the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and will surely come on from that race after a four-month break from the track.
Marcus has also entered Twist Of Fate, third last year for Joey Ramsden who has since moved to Australia.
An interesting nomination by Dean Kannemeyer who has won this race twice, is KZN Derby winner It’s My Turn, off the track with injury for over a year.
Other notable entries are impressive Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes winner Bunker Hunt and Soqrat.
First entries for the R 1,500,000 2200m
VODACOM DURBAN JULY (Grade 1) to be
0 ALIBI GUY Mike de Kock 101
0 AZORES Dean Kannemeyer 99
0 BELGARION Justin Snaith 113
0 BORN TO PERFORM Dennis Bosch 98
0 BUNKER HUNT Justin Snaith 124
0 CAMPHORATUS R A Hill/S R Hi 111
0 CAT DADDY Glen Kotzen 101
0 CHIJMES Gary Alexander 120
0 CORNISH POMODORO Sean Tarry 102
0 CROWN TOWERS (AUS) Justin Snaith 109
0 D’ ARRIVEE Candice Dawson 106
0 DIVINE ODYSSEY J A Janse van V 114
0 DO IT AGAIN Justin Snaith 135
0 DUKE OF SPIN Mike de Kock 101
0 EYES WIDE OPEN Glen Kotzen 116
0 G G’S DYNASTY Brett Crawford 103
0 GOLDEN DUCAT Eric Sands 110
0 GOT THE GREENLIGHT Joe Soma 116
0 HAWWAAM Mike de Kock 131
0 HERO’S HONOUR Gary Alexander 117
0 HERODOTUS Glen Kotzen 110
0 IT’S MY TURN Dean Kannemeyer 118
0 LADY OF STEEL J A Janse van V 111
0 LEOPOLD J A Janse van V 108
0 LIBERTY HALL Dean Kannemeyer 101
0 MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Justin Snaith 114
0 MAJESTIC MOZART Candice Bass-Ro 107
0 MIYABI GOLD Justin Snaith 115
0 MORE MAGIC Candice Bass-Ro 102
0 NEXUS Justin Snaith 102
0 PACK LEADER Glen Kotzen 114
0 PADRE PIO Dennis Bosch 110
0 PROMISEOFAMASTER Candice Dawson 104
0 RAINBOW BRIDGE Eric Sands 134
0 RETURN FLIGHT Sean Tarry 108
0 ROY HAD ENOUGH (AU Frank Robinson 115
0 ROY’S RIVIERA (AUS Frank Robinson 111
0 SACHDEV Justin Snaith 108
0 SHANGO Sean Tarry 118
0 SILVANO’S PRIDE Justin Snaith 115
0 SILVER HOST Justin Snaith 102
0 SNAPSCAN Glen Kotzen 118
0 SOQRAT (AUS) Mike de Kock 133
0 SOVEREIGN SPIRIT Candice Bass-Ro 95
0 TIERRA DEL FUEGO Sean Tarry 124
0 TREE TUMBO Sean Tarry 91
0 TRISTFUL Tony Rivalland 109
0 TWIST OF FATE Adam Marcus 129
0 VARDY Adam Marcus 134
0 VICTORIA PAIGE Sean Tarry 112
0 VIKRAM Andre Nel 100
0 WESTERN FORT Paul Peter 108