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French Navy – Vodacom Durban July 2017

FRENCH NAVY - Horse - Trained by Sean Tarry - South Africa

All the info you need to know on the Vodacom Durban July 2017 runner FRENCH NAVY. Profile, form, tips, betting and comments are provided.

FRENCH NAVY will be hoping for “third time lucky” when he lines up for the 2017 Vodacom Durban July. Learn more about the Sean Tarry trained gelding below. Form and comments are provided courtesy of WINNING FORM.

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FRENCH NAVY - Horse - South Africa - Royal blue, red spot, halved sleeves, royal blue cap - Jockey Silks

1) FRENCH NAVY – 33/1

Trainer: Sean Tarry
Jockey: *Lyle Hewitson
Owner: Mr C J H Van Niekerk
Age / Sex: 5yo / Gelding
Merit Rating: 110
Colours: Royal blue, red spot, halved sleeves, royal blue cap

Durban July Draw: 16 (of 20)
Weight Carrying: 57.5kg

Total Runs: 28
First Place: 6
Places: 10

Runs at Greyville: 5 (1 WIN, 1 PLACE)
Runs at 2200m Distance: 2

Notable Runs:
2nd in the 2017 Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr 1) – 1600m
3rd in the 2016 Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Gr 1) – 1600m
2nd in the 2016 Champions Challenge (Gr 1) – 2000m
3rd in the 2015 Summer Cup (Gr 1) – 2000m
1st in the 2015 Daily News 2000 (Gr 1) – 2000m
1st in the 2015 SA Classic (Gr 1) – 2000m

JOCKEY Comments:
Jockey Lyle Hewitson: He believes his mount is a “huge runner” at the weights, and that winning the July would be ‘a dream come true’, especially doing it for the Sean Tarry stable. – via Gold Circle

TRAINER Comments:
Tarry is “very happy” with former Daily News 2000 winner French Navy, whom he says has improved since a tongue ties was applied three runs ago. He said his last start can safely be ignored as he hated the blinkers and was also hit in the eye by a clod. – via Gold Circle

“He is doing very well and I was very pleased with his gallop last Thursday.  His last run, when wearing blinkers, must be ignored as the blinkers did not suit him. He is very game and always tries his best and I am very happy with him.”

MAGIC TIPS (Winning Form) Comment:
Blinks OFF. Another top sort who is way better than his excusable last run. He hasn’t won for more than a year but started to shape again during this autumn season on the Highveld. Has had two tries in this event without success and though the trip won’t be any issue, his promising young apprentice rides him for the first time and that is a definite concern. The other worry is that he needs a solid gallop. However he hails from a champion stable and should be doing his best work late.

Verdict: Issues in last start, better without blinkers but needs hot pace.


  • This will be French Navy’s third attempt at the Vodacom Durban July. He has finished 6th (2015) and 11th (2016).
  • Trainer Sean Tarry has four runners in this race: FRENCH NAVY, AL SAHEM, TILBURY FORT, and SAFE HARBOUR.
  • Trainer Sean Tarry won the Vodacom Durban July in consecutive years, winning with Pomodoro in 2012, and Heavy Metal 2013. French Navy will be running in the same silks as those winners.
  • Jockey Lyle Hewitson is the only apprentice jockey in this year’s race.
  • Lyle Hewitson currently has an unassailable lead in the Apprentice Log for the 2016/17 season, and will be crowned Champion Apprentice after the 31st of July 2017.
  • Hewitson recently broke his collar bone on the 13th May 2017, after falling off a horse in a meeting at Fairview. However he is on track to ride on Durban July day. Read more here!
  • This will be Hewitson’s second Vodacom Durban July, after riding Dynamic for the Justin Snaith yard in 2016. He finished in 12th.

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