Delpech’s July choice to be clearer on Saturday
Just which horse jockey Anthony Delpech will ride in this year’s Vodacom Durban July should become a lot clearer after Saturday’s grade3 Cup Trial at Greyville.
The KwaZulu-Natal-based rider probably has three options — Black Arthur who he rides in the Cup Trial, Elusive Silva who runs in the same race and Al Sahem who finished second in last weekend’s Daily News 2,000. Victory by any of this trio on July 1 would see Delpech become the first jockey to win SA’s most famous race five times.
In recent interviews Delpech has hinted that Justin Snaith’s four-year-old Black Arthur was his likely July mount, but that would mean him deserting trainer Sean Tarry’s talented three-year-old Al Sahem.
At this stage, Black Arthur is not guaranteed a place in the final line-up so a bold showing on Saturday is essential. Bookies believe he is the right one and quote him as the 2-1 favourite in ante-post betting. This despite Black Arthur’s three-lengths defeat when fancied for the recent Drill Hall Stakes.
Stablemate Elusive Silva could spoil the party for Black Arthur if he comes out on top in the hands of Richard Fourie. Despite his unplaced run in the Betting World 1,900, he is highly rated and is second favourite for the Trial at 28-10.
Brett Crawford relies on Algoa Cup winner Nebula and bookies are taking no chances about the possibility of the stable having another feature winner by quoting him the third choice in the market at 3-1.
Anton Marcus, who has also ridden four July winners, partners Master Switch for trainer Geoff Woodruff, but owner Markus Jooste’s runner needs to improve markedly to get the better of either Black Arthur or Elusive Silva.
The big race on the Greyville card — the Rising Sun Gold Challenge — will also shed important light on the July with the spotlight firmly on the ruling third favourite Marinaresco.
Runner-up in the 2016 July, Marinaresco let his supporters down in the Cape and surprised many pundits when winning the Drill Hall Stakes — a distance considered far too short for the son of Silvano. With Bernard Fayd’Herbe now engaged for Candice Bass-Robinson’s top horse, it is possible Marinaresco can go one better, but he needs a big run on Saturday to prove he is back to his best.
Bookies quote Fayd’Herbe’s mount as the 28-10 favourite for Saturday’s race with Crawford’s outstanding performer Captain America a 5-1 chance to land another grade1 victory. If he does emerge victorious, it will be Crawford’s fifth grade1 success this season.
Bela-Bela, Delpech’s unplaced mount in the 2016 July, is quoted at 6-1 for Saturday’s race along with Gavin Lerena’s mount, New Predator. A win by the filly would further strengthen Justin Snaith’s July hand, but Marinaresco may have her measure. It is also a tough task for Janoobi, quoted at 8-1, but any Mike de Kock runner has to be respected and this one is no exception.
Sean Tarry sends out Trip To Heaven, disqualified from this race a year ago, with his old stalwart French Navy. He failed to take a hand in the finish of the Premier’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein suggesting his best days may be behind him.