Picture: 123RF/Chris Van Lennep
Picture: 123RF/Chris Van Lennep

French racing fans — with an initial limit of 5,000 — will be allowed back on the country’s racetracks from July 11 as lockdown restrictions ease in France.

The country’s defence and national security council has announced that all sports stadiums will be open to the public from that date and horse racing falls into this category. France Galop says it has received the green light for racing to resume at three important tracks — Longchamp, Auteuil and Saint-Cloud.

There has been action in the ante-post market for the Vodacom Durban July with Belgarion — one of a number of entries from Justin Snaith’s stable — promoted to 6-1 second favourite after his easy win at Greyville last Saturday. Jockey Anton Marcus hardly had to move a muscle as the son of Dynasty strode clear in the closing stages to the delight of many favourite-backers.

Marcus did not say whether Belgarion might be a possible mount in his bid for a sixth July win, but he would have to go on a serious diet to make the weight. Snaith is expecting Saturday’s winner to be allotted 53kg or 54kg when the weights are published.

Final supplementary entries for the race fall due on July 7 with the final field and draw being revealed at a function on July 14.

The Vaal hosts a nine-race programme on Tuesday and Battle Of Trafalgar has been priced up 2-1 favourite for the sixth race. He faces a tough rival in Paul Peter’s runner Arapaho. Nevertheless, Mike de Kock’s charge was impressive last time out and jockey Callan Murray will be hopeful of notching another winner on the sprinter.

De Kock and Murray also team up in the seventh race with Marshall, who could provide the former champion trainer with a quick double. The swinger coupling Marshall with Mike Azzie’s runner Bohica appeals as a good way to bet on this event.

The Azzie stable also have bright prospects of taking the last leg of the jackpot with their sprinter Palace Assembly. He is a smart sort on his day but will have to be at the top of his game with Tokyo Drift, Blonde Vision and Touch Of Fate among his opposition.

Trainer Heather Adamson does well with a small string of horses and her fifth-race runner Ideal Wolff should go well in this 2,000m handicap. It is a plus that Gavin Lerena will be in the saddle.

Champion trainer Sean Tarry runs the well-bred Meeraas in this race and — as he is resuming after a long break — the market will be the best guide to his chance.

Tarry saddles Senscence in the third race and his runner could fight out the finish with Muzi Yeni's mount Super Duper. The latter appeals as a place accumulator banker.


1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (7) South East (1) Bowie (11) Valyrian King (10) Trust The Fire

3rd Race: (2) Super Duper (11) Senescence (1) Spirit Law (3) Miss Cap Mala

4th Race: (8) Christopher Robin (6) Nimcha (1) American Indian (5) Master And Man

5th Race: (6) Ideal Wolff (3) Meeraas (8) Tyrus Express (11) Latin Opus

6th Race: (2) Battle Of Trafalgar (1) Arapaho (7) Country Squire (5) Land Of The Brave

7th Race: (5) Marshall (4) Donderweer (11) Bohica (8) Old Man Tyme

8th Race: (3) Palace Assembly (4) Tokyo Drift (8) Blonde Vision (7) Touch Of Fate

9th Race: (1) Pidgeon Rock (9) Var Aglow (10) Holy Man (7) Bold Ransom