Durban July: Chance for Kommetdieding to score rare double win

Kommetdieding will be carrying joint top weight of 60kg.

Kommetdieding will be bidding to become only the sixth horse to register back-to-back victories in the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday.

The Harold Crawford and Michelle Rix-trained runner pulled off a thrilling win under Gavin Lerena from the widest draw last year, and there is a lot of confidence that they can repeat that success this year.

There are several concerns.

Kommetdieding will be carrying joint top weight of 60kg and many pundits are pointing to his disappointing Johannesburg campaign this year, when he finished third and fifth respectively in two Grade 1 feature races.

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“I can’t really explain it,” said Rix on Wednesday.

“There was nothing physically wrong with him, maybe it was the altitude, but it just wasn’t for him. He turned the corner once we arrived in KwaZulu-Natal and Gavin says he feels much better.”

The Cape-based colt has not raced since the Champions Challenge, but Rix says they have given him two hard gallops to get him ready.

“We also galloped him with 60kg, which is the weight he will carry in the Durban July, and he put up an excellent run.”

The five back-to-back winners of the Durban July to date are Campanajo (1897-98), Corriecrian (1907-08), Milesia Pride (1949-50), El Picha (1999-2000) and Do It Again (2018-19).

With a R2-million Pick 6 carryover and an estimated pool of R12 million, finding the winners of Races 4 to 9 will prove very rewarding, if not life-changing.

The good news is that Captain’s Ransom looks a banker in Race 8, so Pick 6 players have only five races to negotiate.

Of the 10 runners in Race 4, Smoking Hot, Salvator Mundi, Monashada, Black Thorn and Rex Union should be enough to progress to the next leg.

The next two legs are features for two year olds and are tricky, so include as many runners as the budget allows.

In the Golden Slipper, unbeaten Sweet Pepper and Maharanee set the standard, but respect debut winner Time fo Orchids, an unknown quantity.

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Antigua Night and Ameena are worth including. Miss Cool gets weight from male rivals in Race 6, the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe, and that could prove decisive.

Imposing, Ocean Time and Prophet must be considered, while debut winners Golden Prospect, Formagear and Bright Green could be anything.

Trainer Mike de Kock’s stablemates Aragosta and Safe Passage look a must in Race 7, as do Justin Snaith-trained Pomp and Power, Do It Again and Jet Dark.

Socrates is set to go well in Race 9, the Grade 2 Post Merchants, and Isivunguvungu, Good Traveller, William Robertson and Sound of Warning appear the only dangers.

Those five should guarantee you the payout if you have successfully negotiated the first five legs.

Addition reporting by Brendan Gaillard

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Durban July KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)