Everything that you need to know about the 2021 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge which will be run on Saturday 12 June.
Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge (Grade 1)
Saturday 12 June 2021
Race 7 – R1 000 000 – 1600m – 15:25
Check out all of the betting below:
|1||Jet Dark||58.5||130||R. Fourie||J. Snaith||9/2|
|2||Seeking The Stars||58.5||121||G. van Niekerk||V. Marshall||6/1|
|3||Rainbow Bridge||60.0||134||L. Ferraris||E. Sands||8/10|
|4||Chimichuri Run||60.0||125||Raymond Danielson||S. Tarry||33/1|
|5||Cirillo||60.0||120||Lyle Hewitson||S. Tarry||16/1|
|6||Trip To Africa||60.0||114||*T. Gumede||D. Howells||SCR|
|7||Belgarion||60.0||130||S. Khumalo||J. Snaith||11/2|
|8||Sovereign Spirit||60.0||124||K. de Melo||C. Bass-Robinson||25/1|
|9||Catch Twentytwo||58.5||123||G. Lerena||P. Peter||14/1|
Rainbow Bridge will defend his title in the 50th renewal of the R1 million Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday and will be out to turn the tables on Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Jet Dark.
South Africa’s joint second richest race is the final Vodacom Durban July ‘golden ticket’ event and promises to be a thriller with five big race entries lining up.
Although only nine runners are due to face starter Solly Ngcobo, there is plenty of intrigue with runners like Rainbow Bridge and Belgarion warming up for the VDJ against star milers whose main target will have been this race.
The Eric Sands-trained Rainbow Bridge could not have been more impressive when winning the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes over 1400m beating Catch Twentytwo and the pair will face up again come Saturday.
Rainbow Bridge will renew his partnership with jockey Luke Ferraris who has landed a six-month contract to ride in Hong Kong from mid-September.
Jet Dark, the highest-rated three-year-old in the country after his defeat of Rainbow Bridge in the Queen’s Plate, has not had an outing since that victory which may be a worry for some. Stable first-call Richard Fourie rides with Grant van Niekerk switching to Seeking The Stars.
Justin Snaith scratched Jet Dark from the original July entry but the colt is sure to be primed come Saturday.
Vaughan Marshall has had a stellar Champions Season to date and will saddle Seeking The Stars who set a solid gallop for stable companion Linebacker in the WSB KZN Guineas. He stayed on well enough for second which will make him a factor on Saturday.
Snaith also saddles last year’s VDJ winner Belgarion who missed his intended warm-up race in the Drill Hall with an abnormal blood picture. He is already assured of a place in the VDJ but this will be a testing warm-up. S’Manga Khumalo rides what will probably be his VDJ mount.
Sovereign Spirit and Cirillo are assured of a July gate while Trip To Africa is 18th on the latest VDJ log and a top showing here will push him further up the table.
This is what our UK tipster Neil Morrice thinks about the race:
RAINBOWS always have an ending, but in the horse racing world it takes a vivid imagination not to envisage RAINBOW BRIDGE going back-to-back in the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
Eric Sands has expertly campaigned the gelding at the top level over the past four seasons, with his stunning triumph in this year’s Metropolitan Handicap at Kenilworth the icing on the cake.
He dominates the market for the day’s rescheduled running at 8/10 with the sponsors, while only two others in the 11-horse field on offer at single-figure prices.
Next on the list is the 2020 Vodacom Durban July hero BELGARION who strictly on the book has work to do to win this, but he’s the subject of enthusiastic reports from his trainer Justin Snaith who is also responsible for 5/1 third favourite JET DARK.
This year’s Queen’s Plate hero is upwardly mobile and might be able to raise his game at a course that will suit, and rates the main threat to RAINBOW BRIDGE with SEEKING THE STARS the pick of the roughies.