|SA Triple Crown winner ABASHIRI will look to make a mark on the Vodacom Durban July 2016|
3) ABASHIRI - 10/1
Trainer: Michael Azzie
Jockey: Karl Zechner
Owner: Mr A & Mrs F J Van Vuuren
Age / Sex: 3yo / Gelding
Merit Rating: 117
Colours: Orange, black crossed sashes, orange sleeves and cap
Vodacom Durban July Draw: 2
Weight Carrying: 59kg
Total Runs: 8
First Place: 6
Runs at Greyville: 2 (1 WIN, 1 Place)
Runs at 2200m Distance: 0
Winner of the South African Triple Crown
1st in the SA Derby (2450m)
1st in the SA Classic (1800m)
1st in the Betting World Gauteng Guineas (1600m)
Mike Azzie – "Abashiri is in great shape and I must say he is in a great place. He took his gallop very well and is improving all the time. He has the biggest weight in the race for a 3year old since Hawaii and I can assure you he is better than Hawaii. I have a very high opinion of him and expect him to prove me right come July day. "
MAGIC TIPS (Winning Form) Comment:
Sensational gelding, well drawn but huge task at the weights, slow pace will help.
This sensational three-year old gelding's record of six wins from eight starts, including the Triple Crown success on the Highveld highlights his brilliance. His conditioner was really smart not to race him after he just held onto win the Derby last time and the son of Go Deputy will be fresh and well. He has a monumental task at the weights but was given a reprive by drawing well and his track experience will be vital. That said, the likely slow pace will be an issue as his jockey won't want to set him alight too early as he did last time out.
- Abashiri enters this year's Durban July as the current SA Triple Crown champion, after winning the SA Derby, SA Classic, and Gauteng Guineas.
- Abashiri will carry the top weight for a 3 year old in the 2016 Vodacom Durban July at 59kg.
- Abashiri will jump from draw gate 2. The last winner from this draw was Bold Silvano in 2010.
- Abashiri has won 5 out of his last 5 races. He has never run out of the places
- In his young career, Abashiri has already amassed R3,440,000 in stakes won - the 2nd most in the field.
- Karl Zechner will pilot Abashiri, and has not yet tasted defeat when onboard the gelding.
- At the age of 28, the Zimbabwean born Zechner will get his first crack at the Vodacom Durban July.
- Trainer Mike Azzie is the grandson of trainer George Azzie. George Azzie won the Vodacom Durban July on three occasions - Preto's Crown (1955), Numeral (1964), and Riboville (1974).
- Mike Azzie also trains another two horses in this race. Rabada (who is now scratched) and the reserve runner Deputy Jud.
- Mike Azzie had Deputy Jud in the 2015 running of the Durban July, but unfortunately finished in 17th place. He will run in the 2016 running should two horses be scratched before Friday 1st July.
- Mike Azzie's best finish in the Vodacom Durban July was in 2010 with his runner Service Ace, who finished in 4th position.
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