|Trainers know the horses better than anyuone in the game. Here are their comments for the Vodacom Durban July 2016|
Gavin van Zyl
Trainer Gavin van Zyl is fast coming into his own as a top trainer. Maybe not wanting to sound over confident he asked jockey Warren Kennedy to talk about ROCKETBALL’s chance. “He worked beautifully in the gallop and I don’t think he could be much better. The July is a very rough race and he will need all the luck he can get. I have ridden in 5 July’s and in all honesty Rocketball may be the best winning chance I have had yet. As far as my riding tactics are concerned I must be cautious with him as he can pull very hard. I will have to see how he jumps and then slot him in from there." Neither Gavin nor Warren are known to be over confident people but it is doubtful whether they could be any more confident of a big run from Rocketball than they are.
Trainer Weiho Marwing probably comes into the race with mixed emotions after his 2014 and 2015 July’s with Wylie Hall. “I am not at all confident about MAC DE LAGO’s chances as I think it will be very tough to win from draw 16,” were Weiho’s straight words.
Trainer Geoff Woodruff is as honest and forthright as anyone could wish. “MASTER SABINA’s Cape form is best ignored as he was not allowed to race as he likes best. Gavin Lerena has ridden him in work since his return and says he is back to his best. He has a good turn of foot and has won on this track. In my opinion the race will be won by a 4 year old.” That sounds like pretty sound advice coming from a man who is vastly experienced.
Trainer Justin Snaith has matured into a top trainer who is very much more cautious and thoughtful about his horses chances.”BLACK ARTHUR is doing very well but has a terrible draw to overcome.There are still nearly 10 days to go before the off and a lot can happen in that time. At this stage, apart from the draw, I have to say he is a big runner”. Justin was short and sweet about IT’S MY TURN’s chance. “He needs luck in running but is well suited to the 2200m and is doing very well in work. He is well served with Richard Fourie in the saddle.” “DYNAMIC is in very good form but needs luck in a very hard race,” were Justin’s cautious word. Justin was the most optimistic about the Dynasty filly BELA-BELA. “She is well drawn and jockey Anthony Delpech will have her in the right place at the right time. She has the X Factor and I am hoping for a big race from her.”
Sean Tarry is a top class trainer and is quietly confident about his horses chances in the July. “FRENCH NAVY is doing very well and will be spot on for the race. I cannot complain about the draw and he is course and distance suited. The July is traditionally a tough race but if he stays out of trouble I will expect a big run from him.” Sean has two more horses to back him up. He sounded very bullish about the chance of SAMURAI BLADE. “His prep has gone exceptionally well. His run in the Daily News was all wrong and a line can be drawn through it. He has a top jockey and I expect him to run very well”. Sean couldn’t hide his disappointment at the fact that TROPHY WIFE was a reserve runner.”She has proved her ability and there are horses rated behind her who are in the race. Having said that, she is very well and I am sure she will run a big race if she gets in.”
Trainer Michael Azzie is no longer prepared to rush in and say ”My horse is a world beater.” He is now much more thoughtful about his horses and his results are phenomenal. Despite this he cannot hide his enthusiasm for his Go Deputy gelding ABASHIRI. "He 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 3 year old since Hawaii and I can assure you, he is better than Hawaii. I think the handicappers have been carried away with him and his merit rating is, in my opinion, too high. I have a very high opinion of him and expect him to prove me right come July day.” Michael admits he is doing something with RABADA that he has never done before. “Running Rabada on Sunday and then in the big race on Saturday is something I have never done before, although in Australia it is sometimes done. He has had an amazing prep and I think he should have beaten Black Arthur the last time they met. He is a tough and brave horse and I expect a lot from him.” As it turned out Rabada ran a gallant second to No Worries and Mike says he took the race very well and it is all systems go for the big race. ‘He will be right there,” were Mike’s concluding remarks. Michael has a reserve runner in Deputy Jud although he thinks it is a bit unfair on him to be a reserve runner. He had one bad run and his merit rating was slashed. If not for that he should have been a runner.” (Rabada has subsequently been scratched from the Vodacom Durban July)
Candice Robinson, speaking on behalf of her dad, was quietly confident about MARINARESCO. ”Unfortunately he is very badly drawn but apart from that he has a lot going for him. He had a lovely gallop on Thursday morning and his jockey, Grant van Niekerk is very happy with him. He has a lovely turn of foot and if he gets over his bad draw he can run a big race.”
Trainer Joey Ramsden sounded very happy about both his runners. “Unfortunately THE CONGLOMERATE is drawn worst of all from stall 20. Jockey Strydom will have to be at his best to overcome that. I couldn’t be happier about The Conglomerate but he does have the draw to overcome.” “I am also very happy about ST TROPEZ who is a very laid back horse. His last run was very good and he has come on nicely since then.” St Tropez has the mighty Anton Marcus riding him so Joey does hold a strong hand.
KZN trainer Duncan Howells is now a trainer to be reckoned with and his opinion is well worth listening to. “TEN GUN SALUTE put up a very good gallop last Thursday and will really appreciate the 2200m trip. He is very well in himself and I expect him to finish in the first 4”, were Duncan’s confident words. “SARATOGA DANCER has a terrible draw to overcome but he is very well and I am hoping for a good run,” were Duncan’s closing words.
Dean Kannemeyer could be classed as amongst the most experienced of the July trainers. His record is impeccable and all his runners are normally in with a chance. “SOLID SPEED has had a great prep and is going for a hat trick. He carries the same weight as most of the 3 year old’s which gives him a big chance. He is very well in himself and I give him a big chance.” Dean sounded extremely happy about the chance of MAMBO MIME. “He has had two great prep runs. He has done everything I have asked of him and I am expecting a good run from him.” Having won the race last year Dean certainly knows what it takes to capture this event.