With the final field announcement on Tuesday 20 June drawing ever closer, “who’s riding what?” will become a crucial question asked by punters before wagering their hard-earned cash.
Of those jockeys declared on 16 June, the most significant is Anton Marcus, who unsurprisingly has committed to current favourite Edict Of Nantes (5-1). “Superman” will have to be disciplined in the next couple of weeks to get down to 54kg, however. He will be hoping the suffering is replaced by sweet ecstasy at around 4.25pm on 1 July.
Nebula (33-1) is the second of Brett Crawford’s hopefuls, but at this stage his place in the final field would appear far from secure. Greg Cheyne will do the honours if he does secure a place.
Justin Snaith is always quickly out of the blocks when it comes to securing riders and all four of his hopefuls have confirmed pilots. Best fancied in the betting is It’s My Turn (15-2), who is to be partnered by the legendary Piere Strydom. “Striker”, of course, produced a brilliant ride to secure victory on The Conglomerate last year and will be hoping to follow up.
Elusive Silva and Black Arthur (both 8-1) will have Richard Fourie and Grant van Niekerk respectively in their saddles, although connections of the latter face an uncertain wait to see if he makes the final cut.
Outsider of the Snaith quartet is staying type Krambambuli (33-1), who will have crack Cape rider Aldo Domeyer in the irons.
Duncan Howells is the only KwaZulu-Natal trainer represented and Muzi Yeni will return from Mauritius to ride Ten Gun Salute (16-1). He rode the gelding when Ten Gun Salute secured his place in the big one with a great win in the Betting World 1900 on 19 May. Saratoga Dancer (30-1, Craig Zackey) also represents the yard.
Geoff Woodruff knows what it takes to win the July and Pagoda (30-1) seems sure to squeeze into the final field. Chase Maujean has the booking.
Of the still undeclared jockeys of the hot shots, Bernard Fayd’herbe seems certain to continue his partnership with Marinaresco (17-2), while it would be a major shock if Anthony Delpech failed to stick with second favourite Al Sahem (6-1).
(Betting courtesy of Betting World)