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

Rainbow Bridge is back at the top of the Vodacom Durban July betting market after a dominant win in Sunday’s Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge (grade 1) at Greyville.

Despite a five-months absence from the track since Ryan Moore partnered him into second in the Sun Met on February 1, Rainbow Bridge kept up a relentless gallop at the Durban track and is now favourite for the spectatorless race on July 25.

Gauteng bookmaker Lance Michael quotes Rainbow Bridge at 9-2 with World Sports Betting a point shorter at 4-1.

Trainer Eric Sands’s star performer was ridden for the first time on Sunday by champion jockey-elect Warren Kennedy who, unlike many, must wish 2020 will never end. He confirmed he would ride the son of Ideal World in the July.

Vardy, winner of the Queen’s Plate in January, was expected to prove a tough rival in the Gold Challenge, but trainer Adam Marcus’s runner was set a Herculean task in the short Greyville straight and was beaten just under a length. He is now a 10-1 chance for the July.

Dual July winner Do It Again will attempt to make racing history by becoming the first horse to win SA's most famous race three times and his supporters will be encouraged that he finished well in the Gold Challenge to fill third place. He is 6-1 third favourite.

Trainer Joe Soma's talented three-year-old Gotthegreenlight has earned a quote of 8-1 for the July after a decisive win in the grade 1 Daily News 2000. Whether the Turffontein trainer decides to let his young horse take his chance in the big race remains to be seen, but he will have no problems with the distance of 2,200m.

However, Soma will have to scout around for a new jockey as Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who was in the saddle on Sunday, will not get the weight on the son of Gimmethegreenlight.

Queen Supreme, beaten favourite in Saturday’s Empress Club Stakes at Turffontein, is out to 16-1 for the July and this is a big price if connections decide to run.

Mike de Kock’s filly was probably inconvenienced by the firm going at the city track and would be a factor at Greyville if there was rain before the race.

The Vaal hosts a nine-race programme and hopefully the filly Anne Boleyn will fare better than her namesake when she runs in the sixth race at the Free State track. The second wife of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn had her coronation in 1533, but just three years later was beheaded for treason.

The equine Anne Boleyn will be ridden by Gavin Lerena on Tuesday and his chief rivals are likely to be Sean Tarry’s representative Upcloseandpersonal, Razna and Madame Patrice.

Veteran rider Piere Strydom, 54, was in hot form at Turffontein on Saturday winning the grade 1 Empress Club Stakes on Ronnie’s Candy and he could capture the first leg of the Pick Six on Fast Draw. Bravo One has strong claims in this race and is a must inclusion in permutations.

DURBAN JULY BETTING

(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)

9-2 Rainbow Bridge

5-1 Belgarion

6-1 Do It Again

7-1 Bunker Hunt

8-1 Gotthegreenlight

10-1 Vardy

16-1 Queen Supreme

18-1 Golden Ducat

25-1 Others

VAAL SELECTIONS

1st Race: (4) Soul Connection (2) Royal Escapade (3) Intothemystic (5) Titelist

2nd Race: (1) St Joseph’s Lily (2) Irish Jet (3) Samoa (5) Apple Drop

3rd Race: (5) Last Cheer (3) Winning Queen (2) Zodiac Princess (1) Birdwatcher

4th Race: (4) Bravo One (7) Fast Draw (3) Willo’thewisp (8) Torben Spirit

5th Race: (3) Dark Song (5) Way Of The World (12) Glacier Girl (11) Oceania

6th Race: (1) Anne Boleyn (4) Upcloseandpersonal (9) Razna (2) Madame Patrice

7th Race: (9) Lady Of Liberty (1) Che Bella (5) Gallic Princess (6) Frosted Steel

8th Race: (7) Isphan (1) Benji (3) Singfonico (6) Topmast

9th Race: (4) Captain Hindsight (5) Towards The Sun (12) Gemcutter (7) Holy Man