Vodacom Durban July Horse Profiles - No's 1-3

With the 2013 Vodacom Durban July just around the corner, we've decided to put together profiles on all twenty of the runners taking part in this prestigious race. For newcomers to horse racing, this is the perfect post for you to read, as it provides the best and most important information you need to know about each runner.  Included are images of the horses, the jockeys, as well as the silks (the colours) - so you will have no problem in finding your horse in the field come July Day. We also provide interesting facts and info on the horses, the trainers and the jocks.  In this edition we preview horses numbered 1-3, which include defending champion POMODORO, his stablemate HEAVY METAL, and top contender HILL FIFTY FOUR. Get the info you need now, and get your bets on at Hollywoodbets.net!

Piere Strydom
1) POMODORO - 9/2 (FAV)

Trainer: Sean Tarry
Jockey: Piere Strydom
Age / Sex: 4 Year Old Colt
Merit Rating: 113
Colours:  Royal blue, red spot, hlvd slvs, royal blue cap

Vodacom Durban July Draw: 7
Weight Carrying: 60.0kg

Total Runs: 17
First Place: 8
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 2

Runs at Greyville: 3 (1 win, 1 second)
Runs at 2200m Distance: 1 (1 win)
Fastest Time over 2200m: 133.19 (carried 55.0kg)

  • Pomodoro enters this year's Vodacom Durban July as the defending champion.  
  • He enters this race as the highest rated horse, and in turn will carry the top weight (5kg more than what he carried when he won last year)
  • He will attempt to be the first horse since Pocket Power, who dead-heated in 2008, to win with top weight.
  • He defied all odds by winning last year's July from the widest draw of 20 - the first time since Dynasty won it in 2003. He was at odds of 28/1!
  • Pomodoro finished 4th in this year's J&B Met - only 2.10 lengths behind the winner.
  • Pomodoro's sire, Jet Master, is the same sire of former July winner Pocket Power. 
  • He was won more stakes than any other horse in this race: R3.69 million!
  • Piere Strydom has partnered Pomodoro in 6 races, winning 2 (including the 2012 July), 2 thirds, 1 fourth and 1 fifth. 
  • Piere Strydom is currently South Africa's leading jockey, as he tops the current Klawervlei Stud Jockey Championship.  He is likely to take the crown at the end of July.
  • Piere Strydom has won the Durban July on three occasions, and set the course record on Trademark in 2001.
  • When jockey Strydom rides for trainer Sean Tarry, he has ridden into the places on 43 occasions over his last 100 races together.
  • Strydom will know his opposition well, having ridden 12 of the 20 horses taking part in this race!
  • Pomodoro is one of four Sean Tarry horses in this race, and is definitely the stable elect. 
  • Piere Strydom set the course record with his Durban July win on Trademark in 2001. The time was 131.76 secs. That record still stands today.

Winning Form Comment: 
3rd run after rest.Top class sort with excellent prep, big contender despite mass.

Magic Tips Comment:
Last year's winner, POMODORO, has been brilliant since his moment in the sun. He shoulders top weight here but has had an excellent prep and has every chance of retaining his crown. He will again be partnered by Strydom and has drawn well.

Smanga Khumalo
2) HEAVY METAL - 22/1

Trainer: Sean Tarry
Jockey: Smanga Khumalo
Age / Sex: 4 Year Old Gelding
Merit Rating: 112
Colours:  Royal blue, red spot, hlvd slvs, royal blue cap

Vodacom Durban July Draw: 11
Weight Carrying: 59.5kg

Total Runs: 19
First Place: 5
Seconds: 6
Thirds: 1

Runs at Greyville: 2 (1 win, 1 second)
Runs at 2200m Distance: 0 
Fastest Time over 2200m: N/A

  • Heavy Metal will be attempting the 2200m distance for the first time, but will enjoy the extra distance
  • He enjoys the Greyville racetrack, having run first and second in his two attempts.
  • Heavy Metal is the second of owner Chris van Niekerk. He has three runners in this race. The two he owns on his own is Heavy Metal and Pomodoro. He also has shares in Whiteline Fever.  He will run in the same colours as Pomodoro, with a different colour cap.
  • He is the joint second top-rated horse in the race
  • He was awarded the the Champion Middle Distance horse at the recent Racing Association Feature Season Awards
  • The sire of Heavy Metal is Silvano - the same sire of 2010 winner Bold Silvano
  • Heavy Metal won the Grade 1 President's Champion Challenge (2000m) at Turffontein in April, beating off Shogunnar, Whiteline Fever and E-Jet.  However, he will meet all three on worse weight terms in this race. He is 5kg worse off with E-Jet, 3kgs out with Shogunnar, and 1kg out with Whiteline Fever.
  • This is jockey S'Manga Khumalo's first ride in the Vodacom Durban July
  • Khumalo won the Sansui Summer Cup (the equivalent of the Durban July in Gauteng) in December upon the Joey Soma runner Wagner (also takes part in this year's July)
  • He is the first black jockey to land one of SA's big 3 races
  • This will be his fourth ride on Heavy Metal, winning two of his runs, with one second.

Winning Form Comment: 
In the form of his life, big mass but capable, consider.


Trainer: Vaughan Marshall
Jockey: Sean Veale*
Age / Sex: 4 Year Old Gelding
Merit Rating: 112
Colours:  Emerald green, yel.stars, black sleeves and cap
Vodacom Durban July Draw: 10
Weight Carrying: 59.5kg

Total Runs: 14
First Place: 6
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 3

Runs at Greyville: 1 (1 third)
Runs at 2200m Distance: 0 
Fastest Time over 2200m: N/A

*Sean Veale has replaced Anton Marcus, who was originally scheduled to ride.

  • Hill Fifty Four ran a cracker in the J&B Met in February this year, just being edged out by 0.30 of a length by winner Martial Eagle.
  • He won the Betting World Algoa Cup (Grade 3) in November 2012 over 2000m, when beating Puntas Arenas by two lengths, as well as Jet Explorer.
  • This is one of two horses in the race for trainer Vaughan Marshall, the other being Tribal Dance.
  • Owner's Ingrid and Marcus Jooste (of Steinhoff fame) are big contributors to South African racing, have never won the Durban July. They managed to win the Queen's Plate with Variety Club in January. 
  • The Jooste's have two runners in this year's race, in Hill Fifty Four and Wagner
  • Anton Marcus was originally scheduled to ride Hill Fifty Four, but has been suffering from a broken thumb.  He has been stood down for Durban July day, and Sean Veale will now ride. 
  • This will be Sean Veale's first ride in the Durban July
  • He recently won his first Grade 1 race, the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship on Happy Valentine for Vaughan Marshall. This more than likely sparked the decision for Marshall to select him for this Durban July ride. 

Winning Form Comment: 

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