Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

With just two days to go to the 2019 Vodacom Durban July, the betting market is full of activity.

While the ante-post favourite, Hawwaam, has drifted from
16-10 to 2-1, there has been money for his stablemate, Barahin, whose odds have been trimmed from 13-2 to 6-1. The 2018 winner, Do It Again, is firm on bookmakers’ boards at 4—1, while longshots Eyes Wide Open (20-1 to 12-1) and Twist Of Fate (16-1 to 13-1) have enjoyed a good share of support.

Four-time July winner Mike de Kock, who will saddle Hawwaam and Barahin, was hesitant to pick between the two in a TAB News interview this week and said: “Hawwaam probably has a tad more class, but it is a while since we’ve seen the best of Barahin.”

The De Kock pair differ in temperament and racing style.

“Hawwaam is not straightforward,” the trainer said. “You don’t know what he’s going to do. He may jump slowly, or he will pull on the bridle. This is also the first time he is running in an 18-horse field so we don’t know how he will cope. Barahin is a one-dimensional horse. He’ll relax near the back of the field and run on late.”

Trainer Justin Snaith, aiming at his third July winner, is adamant that four-year-old Do It Again can follow up on 2018’s success despite having to concede a chunk of weight to the younger horses in the race.

“He’s a champion and what beats him will win,” said Snaith.

There are 12 races at Greyville on July day and punters will need something extra in the kitty to partake in all the action.

There are two possible strike bets at the Vaal on Thursday to further the cause.

Pretty Ballerina (7-2), in her second outing for in-form trainer Paul Peter, looks well in at the weights in race 4 over 1,800m. She is 2.5kg better off with rival Tehuana for a narrow beating in June and should turn the tables.

Sean Tarry has booked his stable jockey Lyle Hewitson on Silver Spectrum in race 7 over 2,000m, but his stable companion Last Of A Legend (Ryan Munger) comes equally strong into the reckoning and makes value appeal at 9-2.

Vaal selections

Race 1: (1) Birthday Boy (11) Sullenberger (4) Towards The Sun (6) Diamonds Galore

Race 2: (10) Battle Of Alesia (1) Maroon Bells (7) Madida (9) Armo

Race 3: (2) Librado (7) Louis The Great (8) In The Game (1) Riboux En Var

Race 4: (3) Pretty Ballerina (2) Chariot Of Gold (3) Circle Of Latitude (1) Emily Jay

Race 5: (9) Josi De Nero (4) Hareer (1) Jolly Josephine (3) Destiny’s Game

Race 6: (7) Piccadilly Square (1) Jive Express (2) Pink (9) Mwelase

Race 7: (4) Last Of A Legend (5) Silver Spectrum (2) Zanaki (1) Finchatton

Race 8: (2) Responsible (1) Florida Quays (3) Mighty Valdie (5) Master Boulder

Race 9: (3) Ficticious (14) Cosmic Mist (6) Shezashingstar (5) Ocean City