Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK
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Veteran racehorse owner Fred Crabbia is in the enviable position of having two strong Vodacom Durban July contenders to race in his black-and-red silks on July 7. If he wants them to.

Both African Night Sky and It’s My Turn have qualified for SA’s flagship race and, as reported last week, African Night Sky is the strong 18-10 favourite following his blinding run from the back of the field to win the recent grade3 Cup Trial. It’s My Turn won last weekend’s KZN Oaks over 2,400m by staying on much better than his opposition.

Thing is, Crabbia may decide to run It’s My Turn in the grade3 Gold Vase over 3,000m, an arguably easier picking than the July, to give himself a better chance of winning two features on the glamorous race day.

It would appear as if It’s My Turn, a former Cape Derby winner, has found his strongest suit and he could have the Gold Vase at his mercy. Jockey Anton Marcus, who was having his second ride back since recovering from a wrist injury, said: "It’s My Turn stays like an annoying relative. He dropped the bit too early but there was more in the locker."

Plodding along strongly and finding extra breath are the kind of traits Crabbia knows are needed to win the 3,000m marathon, though he would dearly like to win the July, a race that has so far eluded him.

The final field for the big race will be announced on Tuesday, just before the start of the race meeting at the Vaal.

Jockey Piere Strydom has a decent book of rides at the track. He can strike as early as race 3 over 1,000m, in which Paul Peter’s runner Casual Wear has the right look about her, having recently contested the grade2 SA Nursery and taking a drop to Maiden class.

Money Matters (race 4) has shown good improvement since being gelded, and Strydom retains the ride for the third time in a row, some indication that a "third time lucky" run is expected by trainer Mike Azzie.

Strydom has his first chance aboard Alec Laird’s Noceur (race 8), one who has dropped in the ratings and is weighted to give a good account of herself.