Top three-year-old Edict of Nantes has been backed as 9-2 joint favourite in a dramatic late betting move on the R4.25-million Vodacom Durban July at Greyville this afternoon.
Edict Of Nantes was promoted to favouritism for Africa’s greatest race following his victory in the Daily News 2000 at Greyville a month ago.
He was kicked off his perch at the top of bookmakers’ betting boards two days ago following an avalanche of money for Al Sahem and Black Arthur, who were backed in to 9-2 favourite and 5-1 second favourite respectively.
Edict Of Nantes was pushed out to 11-2 third favourite, odds that looked decidedly generous, and punters took full advantage late yesterday afternoon.
Lots of cash was wagered on Edict Of Nantes and bookmakers slashed his odds to 9-2 joint favourite with Al Sahem, while Black Arthur drifted slightly to 11-2.
“A range of horses are being backed but the bulk of the money has been for the top four in the betting – Al Sahem, Edict Of Nantes, Black Arthur and last year’s winner, The Conglomerate,” said Betting World boss Vee Moodley.
“Until midday yesterday, the lion’s share of the money on the top four was for Black Arthur, but that changed dramatically later in the afternoon when customers began to pour money on Edict Of Nantes.”
Edict Of Nantes established himself as the country’s best three-year-old in the Daily News 2000 at Greyville last month. The Cape-based colt took on Joburg’s top three-year-old, Al Sahem, and ran on resolutely to hold him at bay by 0.50 lengths.
Al Sahem meets Edict Of Nantes on 0.5kg better terms this afternoon but Edict Of Nantes looks sure to improve on his Daily News performance – only his second start since winning the Investec Cape Derby in January.
He is trained by Brett Crawford, who is enjoying the best season of his career with five major race wins, including taking Africa’s richest race in January, the R5 million Sun Met at Kenilworth.
Crawford said this week that Edict Of Nantes was in great shape and he was hoping the colt would provide him with his first Durban July winner.
That top jockey Anton Marcus is putting himself through the trauma of losing more than 5kg to be able to ride the threeyear-old at his allotted weight of 54kg speaks volumes.
Popular rider Muzi Yeni has been replaced by veteran Weichong Marwing on Ten Gun Salute in a late jockey change for the big race.
Yeni was recalled to ride Ten Gun Salute in the Betting World 1900 in May and reuniting horse and rider paid immediate dividends.
Yeni then became an obvious choice to ride Ten Gun Salute in the July, but he has been prevented from leaving Mauritius.
The Mauritius Turf Club launched an investigation into messages from a WhatsApp account in his name.
An inquiry was held by the club at which Yeni was cleared but the police subsequently opened a separate investigation that has not been completed and Yeni cannot return home until the matter is finalised.