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As grandson of four-time July winning jockey Tiger Wright, Bernard Fayd’Herbe has had big shoes to fill, but he is making a good fist of it with two wins (2008 and 2017) in SA’s most famous race.

The final field for the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July was announced on Tuesday and — with S’manga Khumalo preferring to partner Sparkling Water — Justin Snaith has booked Fayd’Herbe for Jet Dark.

Fayd’Herbe, 40, has never ridden Jet Dark, but his wins on Pocket Power and Marinaresco are proof that he knows his way home in the 2,200m race. The Queen’s Plate winner will jump from stall nine.

Khumalo’s decision to partner Sparkling Water will delight the filly’s many fans because he knows her well and was just shaded by Astrix in the Premier’s Champions Challenge at the end of April. Mary Slack’s filly will jump from stall 12.

The popular rider will also have taken into account that trainer Mike de Kock has saddled two females to win the July, Ipi Tombe in 2002 and Igugi in 2011.

There was another plus for the De Kock camp at Tuesday’s announcement with Warren Kennedy — expected to partner Astrix — booked to partner SA Derby winner Aragosta. He has been drawn in pole position.

Kennedy will be well aware that — as a grade 1 winner over 2,400m — his mount has the necessary stamina to last the July trip in the drive to the wire.

De Kock’s two other runners, Safe Passage and Al Muthana, both have talented jockeys in Muzi Yeni and Callan Murray. Each rider is bidding to win the race for the first time. The two horses drew stalls 10 and 16 respectively.

Callan Murray returns to SA to partner Aussie import Al Muthana, but he will have to overcome a wide stall of 16 if he is to take top honours.

Dual July winner Do It Again will have Aldo Domeyer in the saddle in a bid for a historic third victory. He is one of four runners from the powerful stable of Snaith.

Snaith has a total of five runners and the champion trainer will be happy with Jet Dark’s draw of nine as well as Pomp And Power who will jump from stall eight.

Two previous Snaith winners, Do It Again and Belgarion, drew gates two and 11 respectively with Hoedspruit — one of the fancied outsiders — jumping from stall three.

Talented female rider Rachel Venniker, who has ridden more than 60 winners this term, gets her first ride in the July with Joe Soma booking her to partner SA Classic victor Red Saxon.

Tuesday’s draw resulted in little change in the antepost market with bookmaker Lance Michael trimming Hoedspruit to 16-1 from 18-1 and pushing out widely drawn Al Muthana from 18-1 to 20-1.

Safe Passage, the mount of Yeni, remains the 7-2 favourite and her 35-year-old rider will be content that the Daily News 2000 winner will jump from the middle of the field in stall 10.

Hollywoodbets Durban July

(Betting supplied by Lance Michael)

7-2 Safe Passage

13-2 Linebacker, Pomp And Power

8-1 Sparkling Water

12-1 Do It Again, Kommetdieding

16-1 Aragosta, Hoedspruit, Jet Dark, Zapatillas

20-1 Al Muthana

25-1 Puerto Manzano, Waterberry Lane

33-1 Others 


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