One World wins the 2020 Sun Met from Rainbow Bridge during the Sun Met 2020 at Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town on February 1 2020. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/PETER HEEGER
One World wins the 2020 Sun Met from Rainbow Bridge during the Sun Met 2020 at Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town on February 1 2020. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/PETER HEEGER

Though top jockey Ryan Moore is unlikely to be available, punters are surely going to be seriously tempted to take the 5-1 on offer about Rainbow Bridge for the Vodacom Durban July.

The first Saturday in July is also the date of the Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park and, if trainer Aidan O’Brien has a runner, it will be Moore who will ride that horse.

So trainer Eric Sands and owner Mike Rattray will have to put their thinking caps on regarding a new jockey. If they look overseas again, Hong Kong star João Moreira could be on the shortlist.

Frankie Dettori, who loves SA and particularly the Mala Mala Game Reserve, would be a possibility if John Gosden does not have a runner in the Sandown race.

Sands told this writer that Moore had “apologised” for not winning Saturday’s R3m race.

“Of course, he had nothing to apologise for — he rode a perfect race. It’s just the professional that he is — he sets himself high standards. In fact, I was particularly impressed by the way he was able to settle him [Rainbow Bridge] in third — something his previous riders hadn’t been able to do,” said Sands.

For Moore, it was a frustrating second place in big races for the third time in the space of one week. On the previous Saturday, he had finished second in the Pegasus World Cup Turf International in Florida and last Monday he occupied the same placing in the Classic Mile at Sha-Tin racecourse in Hong Kong.

Bookmakers have priced up Saturday’s Met winner One World as the 7-1 second favourite for the July. They are unlikely to get bombarded with bets as Vaughan Marshall only ran the four-year-old last Saturday on the insistence of the colt’s owners.

Marshall, who scooped his third Met, after winning with La Fabulous in 1996 and Hill Fifty Four in 2014, was unsure the son of Captain Al would stay the 2,000m of Saturday’s race. There is an extra 200m to travel in the July.

Vardy and Do It Again are both quoted at 10-1 in July ante-post betting, but both are now under a cloud. While dual July winner Do It Again was not at his best on Saturday and was beaten by seven lengths, a bigger disappointment was Vardy, who had been so impressive when winning the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.

Vardy’s supporters will not have been too concerned when the Var gelding was not up with the pace — he had shown a good turn of foot in the Premier’s Trial and the Queen’s Plate. It will have come as a shock to his four owners that he finished five lengths adrift of One World.

Jockey Gavin Lerena travelled to Kenilworth last Saturday for four good rides and must have been seriously disappointed to return home without a winner.

The former champion went desperately close on Sean Tarry’s filly Celtic Sea in the grade 1 Majorca Stakes but his mount was snared on the line by Aldo Domeyer on Candice Bass-Robinson’s 2019 winner Clouds Unfold.

Lerena should enjoy much better luck at the Vaal on Tuesday where he has an attractive book of rides — indeed he will probably be hoping to boot home at least four winners.

Oh Mercy Me, which Lerena rides for trainer Alec Laird in the fifth race, should go close, while Littlewood (sixth race), Mistressofmyfate (seventh) and Twice The Surge (eighth) all have strong chances on form.


Vaal selections

1st Race: (12) Duchess Of Windsor (1) Undisclosed (2) Titelist (11) Zuberi

2nd Race: (8) Dice The Bullet (1) Razna (7) Dark Song (11) On Broadway

3rd Race: (6) Urban Rock (2) Benji (3) Epic Dream (4) Aqua Delta

4th Race: (2) Mistressofmyfate (1) Malteza (6) Tigermil (3) Encryption

5th Race: (7) Oh Mercy Me (5) Kay Tee Perry (3) Now You See Me (1) Elusive Butterfly

6th Race: (4) Littlewood (1) Green Dragon (9) Glamorous Scandal (14) Ration My Passion

7th Race: (5) Virginia (2) Aurelia Cotta (7) Secret Dream (4) Rouge Allure

8th Race: (13) Twice The Surge (1) G I Joe (2) Bravo One (4) Tunneloflove