Crunch time for July panel

Crunch time for July panel


The selection panel for the Vodacom Durban July will need to do some head-scratching this morning given the result of Saturday’s Grade 3 Track And Ball Derby.

It is an unenviable job as there will always be disappointed connections and political finger-pointing.

Final acceptances closed at 11am on Monday morning with the field and the draws to be announced at a public function at Gateway Shopping Mall around noon on Tuesday. The event will be shown live on Tellytrack.

The question at the top of their list will be whether Roy Had Enough did enough to warrant inclusion in the final field of 18 or alternatively make it onto the two-berth reserve bench.

When the final VDJ log was released, Roy Had Enough was among the ‘also rans’ and his unplaced run in the Cup Trial would have ruled him out although things did not go his way.

The Cup Trial field was arguably stronger than the one that Roy Had Enough beat on Saturday but there were mitigating factors. The Cup Trial was run at a muddling pace that did not suit Roy Had Enough as he struggled to quicken even with a fresh tailwind helping the runners’ home.

On Saturday, Roy Had Enough came from a long way last in the straight to win rather comfortably ahead of another VDJ hopeful, Charles. On the face of it, it was an impressive performance but Charles didn’t appear to genuinely see out the 2400m trip and the quality of the opposition could be a deciding factor.

It will be a difficult decision for the selection panel but the connections are fairly certain that they will get a run in two weeks’ time.

Their chances will be enhanced with the scratching of Hero’s Honour which would move the filly Camphorates into 18th place so one can reasonably assume that Roy Had Enough would at least make the reserves along with Zillzaal.

While the final log may pretty much spell out what the final line-up will be, another runner whose place may be in jeopardy is veteran galloper Legal Eagle, in spite of his eighth place on the log. He does not appear to be half the horse he was in his heyday, borne out by his drop in the merit ratings. On top of that his last run in a Pinnacle Stakes on the same afternoon as the Jubilee Handicap, was disappointing.

On the flip side, Sean Tarry is a master with older horses and if Legal Eagle does run and find form, he will be a major threat to the more fancied runners with only 55kg to shoulder.

The public gallops will take place at Greyville on Thursday, the first gallop off at 7am. The traditional coffee and sticky buns will be served. Those hungrier and looking for a slap-up breakfast, can book for the Durban View Restaurant. – Gold Circle

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