THERE were 43 runners entered at first-entry stage for this year’s R3-million Vodacom Durban July to be run over 2200m at Greyville on Saturday 2 July but one trainer’s name is missing from the list – champion Mike de Kock.
They may well come later at the two supplementary stages but at this point De Kock says it is too early to enter his runners and fork out the non-refundable nomination fee of R6,840.
“I object to the price of the early nomination. I think it is an absolute disgrace that owners have to pay that sort of money three months before the race. They are just sucking money out of owners,’’ said De Kock.
“I’m happy with the early nomination but it should be free and you should pay 1% of the prize money later on if you enter. Gold Circle just does it to fill their own coffers. There are 43 nominations today and 23 of the owners have done their money in cold blood. It’s a disgrace!
“Phumelela got it right with the Summer Cup and they were prepared to make changes for the benefit of the owners in the game. I’m also dismayed at the silence of the owners’ associations.’’
He slammed those bookmakers who priced his filly, Igugu, as an early favourite. “I think it is reckless to do that without even talking to me. It’s arrogant to assume that the filly will even be in the field.
“If she doesn’t run up to expectation in the SA Oaks I’m going to give her a break. A Triple Tiara is a tough campaign and you tend to be a little hard on them. You can’t assume anything. She’ll be in when she’s in. When I decide to enter any horse, I want to be sure it will be a runner.’’
One of the most interesting nominations is unbeaten Royal Zulu Warrior, who has yet to race beyond 1200m. He will be tested a little next Tuesday evening when he takes on Run For It over 1400m at Greyville.
Big City Life, the 2009 champion, is beginning his comeback to racing and is also among the entries, as is J&B Met winner Past Master. Mike Bass has six entries who include SA Classic winner English Garden and top three-year-old Castlethorpe.
Entries for the R3-million Vodacom Durban July over 2200m:
BIG CITY LIFE (G S Kotzen); BOUQUET-GARNI (G H Van Zyl); BRAVURA (J Ramsden); BROWN PENNY (M W Bass); BULSARA (G H Van Zyl); CASK (S H Page); CASTLETHORPE (M W Bass); CHINDIT (C Laird); DANCEWITHTHEDEVIL (S J Gray); EMERALD COVE (J S Snaith); ENGLISH GARDEN (M W Bass); EXTRA COVER (A G Laird); FORT VOGUE (M W Bass); GALILEO’S DESTINY (C Laird); GALILEO’S GALAXY (C Laird); GOAT (P V Lafferty); GOLD ONYX (S G Tarry); GOLDEN CHARIOT (S G Tarry); GREY COSSACK (C J Burger); HAMMIE’S BOY (M W Bass); HAPPY LANDING (J A Soma); ICE AXE (C Laird); IL SAGGIATORE (J Ramsden); IN WRITING (D Kannemeyer); JET JAMBOREE (D Zaki); LION IN WINTER (J Ramsden); M’LORDS THROAT (G S Kotzen); MAHOGANY (W H Marwing); MASAI WARRIOR (M G Azzie); MYSTIC MOON (G W Ennion); PAST MASTER (D R Hodgson); PIERRE JOURDAN (G M Alexander); POWER PARK (S G Tarry); REGAL RANSOM (S G Tarry); ROMAN WALL (S G Tarry); ROYAL ARROW (G V Woodruff); ROYAL ZULU WARRIOR (A J Rivalland); RUN FOR IT (J S Snaith); SOLO TRAVELLER (J S Snaith); SUPER STORM (M W Bass); THE APACHE (G H Van Zyl); WE THREE (J S Snaith); ZORBA’S TALE (M N Houdalakis).