Nicci Garner
3 minute read
28 Jun 2017
11:15 am

Luck could lead to July winner

Nicci Garner

Looks the best of the stable’s three but Edict Of Nantes must be the one to beat.

FORTUITOUS. Horizon might be lucky to get into Saturday’s R4.25-million Vodacom Durban July but assistant trainer Robert Fayd’Herbe believes the horse deserves his place in the final field.

Horizon getting a run in Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July was a fortuitous piece of luck, says Robert Fayd’Herbe, assistant trainer to Candice Bass-Robinson and the man in charge of the stable’s Durban string.

The Dynasty colt was the first reserve and got into the race when Elusive Silva was scratched

“I’m sorry for the connections of Elusive Silva, but I do think Horizon was unlucky not to be selected as a runner,” said Fayd’Herbe. “I thought his third behind favourite Edict Of Nantes and second-favourite Al Sahem in the Daily News 2000 would have been good enough to get him in.

“And I think out of our three runners at the weights he’s got the best chance, even from that draw.”

Horizon will carry 53kg, getting 1kg from Edict Of Nantes and 0.5kg from Al Sahem. On paper that is not enough to reverse the 3.50 lengths in the Daily News 2000 with Edict Of Nantes, but he was far from ready in that encounter and the weight advantage brings him close enough to his fellow three-year-olds to consider him a huge danger with a bit of luck in running.

Jockey Richard Fourie will also have to overcome a wide draw, but Fayd’Herbe believes the Horizon’s good turn of foot will get them out of any potential jam.

“I couldn’t think of a better rider than Richard. He’s a professional,” he said.

The stable’s other two runners are topweight Marinaresco, a fast-finishing and some believe unlucky runner-up to The Conglomerate last year, and fouryear-old filly Nightingale.

Perhaps Nightingale is his second choice, “having got a good draw for the first time in a long time”.

He said: “She is doing very well and is much stronger than last year. She had a nice soft preparation – we gave her a sprint and then she ran a really nice race behind Just Sensual in a 1400m feature. She’s come on nicely, is getting better and better, and is really at her peak at the moment.

“I think 55kg is a bit of an ask for a filly to carry against this type of opposition. Of the three females to win this race recently, Igugu carried 55kg, Dancer’s Daughter 53kg and Ipi Tombe 52kg. But Nightingale deserves her place and if luck goes our way, she’ll be right there.”

Marinaresco is not a big horse, so he will feel every gram of the 60kg he has been allotted. “But he’s earned the weight and he’s got a nice draw,” said Fayd’Herbe.

“On class alone he should finish in the money. If he gets given a bit of a chance he’ll finish strongly.”

He said Marinaresco’s first run in Durban this season was good, although he conceded he was a bit disappointed with the four-yearold Silvano gelding’s Gold Challenge run. “But we tried different tactics, racing him as handy as possible, and that didn’t work out. He did too much at the beginning of the race and couldn’t finish off. He just ran his race upside down. He came back sound.

“In the July it is hard to come from off them, although it does depend on the pace. If they go a lick and he can be within eight or nine lengths travelling comfortably, he’s got a good turn of foot and will run on well. You can’t ride him to suit the race. You’ve got to ride the race to suit him.”

As for the July as a whole, he said: “Edict Of Nantes must be the horse to beat. He’s up-and-coming d has a nice weight. As for the older horses, It’s My Turn is also well weighted and has Piere Strydom on. It’s a competitive field – the July is always a great race.