Marinaresco will at- tempt to match the exploits of Futura and become only the second horse to win the Grade 1 Champions Cup two years in a row when he lines up for the race on 29 July.
Candice Bass-Robinson confirmed the four-year-old a runner at the weekend despite his widest draw of the 17 entries. “The draw doesn’t really ma er so much with him. He has only had three runs in Durban this season and he might as well take his chance.”
El Picha in 2000 is the only horse to win both the Durban July and the Champions Cup in the same season in the last 17 years but Marinaresco is 22-10 favourite with race sponsors World Sports Be ing who have Captain America at 9-2. Next best is Bela-Bela at 11-2, with It’s My Turn at 8-1 and Black Arthur at 9-1.
Majorca Stakes winner and Durban July fourth-placed Nightingale will miss the race to run in the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet on the same card. She is the highest rated in that 2000m race but has to give weight all round.
The Champions Cup will also be the final career run for grey l- ly Bela-Bela, owners Varsfontein indicated in the stud’s newsletter. The three-time Grade 1 winner will be retired to stud at the end of the season and Snaith Racing, successful with Futura two years ago, yesterday confirmed her a Champions Cup runner with Anthony Delpech again in the irons.
Kinaan, trained by Mike de Kock, is the 5-1 favourite for the eLan Gold Cup over 3200m on Sunday 30 August. Kinaan finished third in the Gold Vase over 3000m behind promoted winner Hermosa Mundo. Weiho Marwing’s charge is on o er at 11-2 while relegated Captain Splendid is a 6-1 chance, the same price as stable companion Krambambuli. Bass-Robinson confirmed she will run both My World and Helderberg Blue in the Gold Cup. Riding arrangements have still to be finalised. – Gold Circle
Current be ing
WSB Champions Cup: 22-10 Marinaresco; 9-2 Captain America; 11-2 Bela Bela; 8-1 It`s My Turn; 9-1 Black Arthur; 12-1 Table Bay, Nightingale (indications are she will not run); 16-1 Deo Juvente, Brazuca, Ten Gun Salute; 20-1 and upwards others.
eLan Gold Cup: 5-1 Kinaan; 11-2 Hermoso Mundo; 6-1 Kram- bambuli, Captain Splendid; 9-1 Royal Badge; 14-1 Banner Hill; 16-1 Mr Winsome; 18-1 My World, Cape Speed, Helderberg Blue; 22-1 Hyaku; 25-1 and upwards others.