There are always people who defy the form and look to other attributes when selecting which horse to back in the Vodacom Durban July.
The two most regular options are sex and colour. There are some people who like to put money on a grey horse and others who hope a filly can put the colts in their places.
In this year’s event, to be run at Greyville over 2200m on Saturday, there are no grey horses but there are two members of the fairer sex – Running Brave and She’s A Keeper.
Running Brave is a talented five-year-old mare has a record of three wins and a place from five starts at Greyville. She finished second in both the Grade 1 Summer Cup and Empress Club Stakes behind Summer Pudding but suddenly turned in two very poor performances.
At her best she could trouble the more fancied runners but will need to improve on last two efforts.
She’s A Keeper, though, will have a lot of fans.
Based on her merit rating this lightly raced four-year-old daughter of Gimmethegreenlight, who is quoted at 28-1, has her work cut out in this line-up. However, she has won five of her six starts and could be a lot better than her rating indicates.
She beat the colts in the Grade 2 Greyville 1900 a lot easier than the 0.75-length margin suggests and could surprise her more experienced rivals.
She is also trained by a young conditioner in Gareth van Zyl who admits he does not yet know how good she is. “We have made some calculated guesses and although a lot of times we overrate our horses and are let down, we get it right every now and then and we are optimistic that she is a proper Group 1 horse.”
She’s A Keeper impressed at the official July gallops last Thursday. ““We did not ask her to set the track alight but it was the way she went about her business and the most important thing was she came out of the gallop better than she went in so it was an important stepping stone into the race,” said Van Zyl.
She will be ridden by champion jockey Warren Kennedy, who is unbeaten on her. “He knows her well and knows Greyville well so having him aboard is a big advantage,” added Van Zyl.