Double whammy for July ante-post punters as two horses ruled out
Dip your toes in the ante-post betting market and you can drown. This was never emphasised better than at the weekend when two well-fancied runners for the Hollywoodbets Durban July were ruled out of SA’s most famous race.
First to go was Sean Tarry’s Triple Tiara winner Rain In Holland, who was voted horse of the season at the highveld awards on Saturday night.
Tarry announced that the filly would have to undergo corrective surgery for an enlarged epiglottis.
Last week Rain In Holland was a 14-1 chance for the July with many pundits feeling the talented three-year-old had a good chance of giving Tarry his third July success. He won the 2012 race with Pomodoro and scored again with Heavy Metal in 2013.
It is likely punters put doubles together with Rain In Holland for the Oaks-July double and that money is now in bookmakers’ satchels.
Perhaps an even bigger blow for backers is the news from the Justin Snaith camp that highly regarded three-year-old Double Superlative had suffered a tendon injury and would be sidelined for several months.
Winner of the Cape Guineas, Double Superlative was generally a 10-1 chance last week with speculation that the Twice Over colt could give Anton Marcus his sixth victory in the July.
Marcus was in the saddle when Double Superlative won the Cape Guineas and also when the colt ran fourth behind Kommetdieding in the Met at the end of January.
It is possible that Marcus will now switch to dual July winner Do It Again whom he partnered to victory in the 2018 race.
Despite drifting in the betting from 14-10 to 7-2, Do It Again showed advancing years hadn’t caught up with him yet when winning the recent WSB 1900 at Greyville. That run now sees the seven-year-old the third favourite for the July at 9-1.
Snaith still has a strong hand for the July 2 race with his three-year-old Pomp And Power now heading the market at 9-2.
A son of Vercingetorix who cost R250,000 as a yearling, Pomp And Power advertised his chance for the July when finishing a close third behind Zapatillas in the recent KZN Guineas. He could give Richard Fourie his fourth July success after wins on Legislate (2014), Do It Again (2019) and Belgarion (2020).
Another Snaith July hope, Hoedspruit, was due to run at Scottsville on Sunday but heavy rain in KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in that meeting being switched to Wednesday. The gelding is now an 11-1 chance for the July.
It is uncertain at this stage as to whether S’manga Khumalo — successful on Heavy Metal in 2013 — will partner Snaith’s Queen’s Plate winner Jet Dark or Mike de Kock’s filly Sparkling Water.
Though Jet Dark is yet to be confirmed a definite starter, it might be a tough call for Khumalo as Sparkling Water threw her hat firmly in the July ring when beaten in a photo-finish in the recent grade 1 Premier’s Challenge at Turffontein.
(Supplied by bookmaker Lance Michael)
9-2 Pomp And Power
8-1 Sparkling Water
9-1 Do It Again, Linebacker
13-1 Jet Dark
16-1 Aragosta, Warrior
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