The ante-post betting market for this year’s Durban July is risk-averse, as they say in the financial pages. Jittery might be a better word, or perhaps poep-scared.
Only one horse is quoted in single figures on the bookmakers’ boards and remarkable value is for the taking among the 50-plus entries still in the race.
The current favourite, at 8-1, is Cape Derby winner Pomp And Power from the Justin Snaith stable. The three-year-old was tentatively bumped to the top of the pops after his good showing in the KwaZulu-Natal Guineas at Greyville at the weekend, when he finished third, less than a length behind Zapatillas.
Defending July champion Kommetdieding, who was favourite a couple of weeks ago, has drifted out to a hard-to-believe 12-1. This is no doubt due to his disappointing recent performances on the Highveld.
“Kommet” shares the slot with Double Superlative, who Snaith said way back was his “July horse”, and Sparkling Water, who trainer Mike de Kock has ramped for the big race.
After his Guineas triumph, Zapatillas has come in from betting’s outer galaxies to take up station at 20-1.
Another very early favourite for the 2022 July was Snaith’s Jet Dark, but he has taken a walk to 16-1 after what some might consider an iffy showing in Saturday’s Drill Hall Stakes. But that race was over 1400m, way short of his optimum, and followed a three-month break. Winner of the last two Queen’s Plates and runner-up in the 2022 Cape Town Met at 16-1?
Another Snaith hero, two-time July victor Do It Again, is at 33-1 to become the first horse to achieve the big-race triple. Do It Again is, in fact, a hot 15-10 favourite for the Greyville “1900” this coming weekend – a traditional July pointer. It’s hard to reconcile those two prices in a rational world.
So, if you have an early July fancy, now’s the time to pile in.
8-1 Pomp And Power
12-1 Kommetdieding, Double Superlative, Sparkling Water
14-1 Rain In Holland, Safe Passage
16-1 Jet Dark
25-1 Aragosta, Warrior
33-1 Do It Again, Puerto Manzano
40-1 Belgarion, Al Muthana, Russian Rock, Astrix
50-1 Marina, Waterberry Lane, Nebraas, Firealley
60-1 Second Base, Naval Guard
66-1 Netta, Red Saxon, Zillzaal, Flying Carpet, Perfect Witness
80-1 Litigation, Future Prince, Flying Bull
100-1 and upwards the others