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Kommetdieding’s no show in last Saturday’s Premier’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein resulted in contrasting responses from two leading bookmaker firms for this year’s Durban July.  

Running four lengths behind Astrix and reported to be fatigued after the race, Kommetdieding’s Durban July price has been extended to 8.33-1 from 6-1 by race sponsors Hollywoodbets.

However, highveld bookmaker Lance Michael, who supplies big race betting for Business Day, is offering 14-1 about the 2021 winner.

“He’s not for me for the July,” said Michael on Tuesday. “The horse’s campaign in Gauteng was a mistake. Hopefully they get him right.”

Saturday’s result was yet another upset in a big race on the highveld. The grade 1 Summer Cup — run at the end  of November — was won by Flying Carpet who started at 28-1. Red Saxon won the SA Classic at odds of 25-1 and the Premier’s winner was returned at 66-1.

Hollywoodbets seem to be cautious about Kommetdieding, who may well recapture his best form returning to sea level. He won the July in Durban and then adapted well to the Cape when capturing the grade 1 Met.

Predictably, Hollywoodbets have shortened Sparkling Water’s July price to 10-1 after offering 14-1 about Mike de Kock’s filly last week. In this case, Michael is also quoting longer odds with 12-1 available about the daughter of Silvano.

De Kock certainly knows what is needed for success with females in SA’s most famous race. He has saddled Ipi Tombe to victory in 2002 and Igugu in 2011.

There has to be a chance of Sparkling Water providing popular jockey S’manga Khumalo his second July triumph. He was the first black rider to win the race when scoring on Heavy Metal in 2013.

De Kock could have a strong hand in the July as it’s possible the five-times champion trainer could saddle talented three-year-old Safe Passage. Michael quotes the Dingaans and Gauteng Guineas winner as his 10-1 co-favourite with last year's runner-up Linebacker.

Hollywoodbets have Safe Passage — beaten by Red Saxon in the SA Classic — two points longer than Michael offering 12-1 about the Drakenstein Stud's son of Silvano.

Meanwhile, Mauritius racing is in a state of uncertainty. The new season, due to start on April 23, has not kicked off yet.

The city council of Port Louis issued a notice terminating the lease of the Mauritius Turf Club’s use of state-owned land on which Champs De Mars racecourse is situated.

The government — which receives substantial tax from horse racing — is being urged to step in and take control of the sport.


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