Pot of gold awaits Rainbow Bridge at end of the July

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Pot of gold awaits Rainbow Bridge at end of the July

RAINBOW BRIDGE

Jack Milner: It could be written in the stars for jockey Warren Kennedy and trainer Eric Sands as all the right signs point to Rainbow Bridge as the winner of the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July over 2200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

Kennedy has had an amazing year and could end the season with a bang with a victory in the country’s most important race. Rainbow Bridge is in top form and Sands had the best of the luck when his two runners – half-brothers Golden Ducat and Rainbow Bridge – landed Nos 1 and 2 barrier positions respectively at the draw.  

Rainbow Bridge ran second in last year’s race and demonstrated his fitness when winning the Grade 1 Gold Challenge, beating Vardy by just under a length with Do It Again another 0.40 lengths back in third. While Do It Again is 0.5kg better off, Vardy will meet Rainbow Bridge at level weights and on paper, neither looks likely to reverse the placings.

“That was a lovely run, considering he was only 70% ready,” said Kennedy yesterday. “He’s come on in leaps and bounds since then.”

If you like Rainbow Bridge, you also have to fancy the Mike de Kock-trained Soqrat who was beaten 0.40 lengths by the Eric Sands-trained runner in the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville last year.

Soqrat has been one of the most honest horses around and is a winner of seven races, three of which were Grade 1s. He will end his career at Greyville on Saturday and then go off to stud.

He is back to his best following a slight wobble in Cape Town confirming that with a 3.50-length second behind stablemate Hawwaam in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein last month.

“I thought his last run was very good,” said trainer Mike de Kock. ”I’m very happy with him. His prep has been good and he’s in a good space.”

Soqrat, who left Johannesburg yesterday, will be ridden by Callan Murray and is well drawn in barrier No 5.

It is a handicap, but many of the runners are out at the weights. In fact, only eight of the 18 runners are well handicapped based on their merit ratings.

Among the group who are under sufferance are the four three-year-olds, but their form might be better than their ratings.

Best of that group has to be Got The Greenlight, who is already a three-time Grade 1 winner. He recently won the Daily News 2000 impressively over 2000m at Greyville and he is highly rated by trainer Joe Soma and has the services of Muzi Yeni.

This race has been his mission and over the years, Soma has proven to be a canny judge of finding the right horse for the right race.  

Vardy has had the perfect preparation and trainer Adam Marcus feels his charge is in top condition after two excellent warm-up races.

“The distance is a question mark but last year in the Winter Classic at Kenilworth over 1800m he put up an exceptional performance when beating One World.

“We’re going into the unknown over 2200m but if he relaxes during the running and gets into the good rhythm, I feel he will see it out.

“In the Gold Challenge Craig (Zackey) dropped him out and he ran on strongly to run second. I thought that run was exceptional. From No 9 draw, which is right in the middle, Craig has quite a few options of where to place him. Our feeling is where Vardy’s happy, we’re happy.”

Trainer Justin Snaith has five runners, with three of them – Belgarion, Bunker Hunt and Do It Again – among the favourites. The concern for the stable is that they are drawn No 17, No 14 and No 18 respectively.

Belgarion appears to be the stable elect as he is the choice of stable jockey Richard Fourie. He comes in with a light weight of 53kg and has been priced up as the 4-1 favourite. Do It Again won this race in 2018 and 2019 and is looking to become the first horse ever to win this race three times. He has a top jockey in Anton Marcus but even he admits his mount will need “more than an ounce of luck” to win from his draw.

Bunker Hunt is well handicapped but there has to be a question as to whether he will see out 2200m. His four wins have been over 1200m, 1400m and 1600m and he failed to place against lesser competition in the Consolation race last year.

 

Jack Milner’s selections

 

Race 1: 2 Singforafa, 8 Van Halen, 9 Chimichuri Run, 5 Bwana

Race 2: 2 Stella Act, 12 Sweet Sensation, 14 Vernichey, 8 Winter Stories

Race 3: 2 Sovereign Spirit, 12 Pack Leader, 6 Leopold, 5 Western Fort

Race 4: 12 Dynasty’s Blossom, 5 Factor Fifty, 16 Silver Rose, 13 Imperial Ruby

Race 5: 1 Caralluma, 7 Delta Queen, 9 Maledimo, 2 Dubawi Princess

Race 6: 3 Ecstatic Green, 4 Erik The Red, 5 Ashford Castle, 1 Fast Love

Race 7: 2 Rainbow Bridge, 5 Soqrat, 13 Got The Greenlight, 9 Vardy, 17 Belgarion, 12 It’s My Turn

Race 8: 13 Clouds Unfold, 7 Celtic Sea, 2 Vistula, 11 Driving Miss Daisy

Race 9: 1 Cartel Captain, 4 Rio Querari, 3 Battleoftrafalgar, 5 Gallic Princess

Race 10: 5 Tree Tumbo, 1 Orpheus, 11 G G’s Dynasty, 4 Crown Towers

 

BEST BET

Race 5 No 1 Caralluma

 

VALUE BET

Race 10 No 5 Tree Tumbo

 

BEST SWINGER

Race 6 3×4

 

BIPOT

R600

Leg 1: 2, 12, 14

Leg 2: 2, 5, 6, 12, 13

Leg 3: 5, 12, 13, 16

Leg 4: 1

Leg 5: 3, 4

Leg 6: 2, 5, 9, 13, 17

 

PLACE ACCUMULATOR

R324

Leg 1: 2, 6, 12

Leg 2: 5, 12, 16

Leg 3: 1

Leg 4: 3, 4

Leg 5: 2, 5, 13

Leg 6: 7, 13

Leg 7: 1, 3, 4

 

PICK 6

R1512

Leg 1: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16

Leg 2: 1

Leg 3: 3, 4

Leg 4: 2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 13, 17

Leg 5: 2, 7, 13

Leg 6: 1, 3, 4, 5

 

JACKPOT 1

R42

Leg 1: 1

Leg 2: 3, 4

Leg 3: 2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 13, 17

Leg 4: 2, 7, 13

 

JACKPOT 2

R588

Leg 1: 2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 13, 17

Leg 2: 2, 7, 13

Leg 3: 1, 3, 4, 5

Leg 4: 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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