Many would expect Turffontein-based trainer Joe Soma to be a bundle of nerves ahead of saddling ruling favourite Got The Greenlight in tomorrow’s Vodacom Durban July, but that’s not the case at all.
In fact, the charismatic trainer is loving every minute of it.
“We’ve got the favourite for the July. We have to enjoy it,” he said.
“We’ve been dreaming about this moment for a long, long time. His preparation has gone very, very well. Thank goodness.
“With his last three starts, there’s always been rain or something that resulted in a stop-start preparation. This time round he’s had two very good grass gallops.
“He’s doing very well and is in a very good space.”
Travelling to Greyville is by now a familiar journey for Got The Greenlight. He has raced there three times, recording two wins, and a second in last year’s July.
Soma says big-race jockey Muzi Yeni is equally optimistic about Got The Greenlight. “Muzi has done a lot of work with the horse over the last two months and we both feel the horse has definitely improved.
“He’s matured exceptionally well and, as a four-year-old, seems to be reaching his very best.
“He’s getting stronger – Muzi can feel it in his work and I can see it in his times.”
But Soma knows the July is arguably the most difficult race in South Africa to win.
“There are many champions in it this year and we have the utmost respect for all of them,” he