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By Danie Toerien


Lerena feels confident plan will come together with Barbaresco at Durban July

Barbaresco finished just 2.60-lengths behind Durban July favourite Green With Envy last time out.

My realistic expectation is to win. That was the confident response from jockey Gavin Lerena earlier this week when asked about his chances aboard the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Barbaresco in Saturday’s Hollywoodbets Durban July.

“I have lost a lot of weight to ride this horse and I am planning on winning,” said Lerena.

While many might consider this statement arrogant, it does bring to the fore two very important issues that separate the great from the mediocre: confidence and planning.

Let’s start with confidence. The legendary Mike Tyson is credited with saying “confidence breeds success and success breeds confidence… confidence applied properly surpasses genius”.

In the world of horseracing, such confidence is hard to come by, so bettors should take note of Lerena’s expectations.

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And why would he not be confident? Barbaresco did finish just 2.60-lengths behind July favourite Green With Envy in the Daily News 2000 last time out, but is better weighted this time round.

“Obviously his last run in the Daily News was very good,” said Lerena. “He was impeded around the turn but he hit the line really well on the day. “He does have the 2kg swing with the other three-year-olds, Green With Envy and Flag Man, who finished ahead of him.

“I rate him to have a very, very good chance.”

Lerena and team Janse van Vuuren are obviously also putting a lot of effort into their planning, especially with Barbaresco jumping from gate No 2.

“I would have preferred to have been a bit wider. Personally gate seven, eight, nine, even 10 would have suited us better because he is a very aggressive horse,” said Lerena.

“On the No 2 draw I have to be smart. I have to hold my position, but I can’t allow him to over-race.

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“It’s always tough getting your weight down, but I’ve accepted the challenge and it has gone very well.

“Barbaresco is doing really well. I’m very pleased with his preparation.”

Lerena has thus also taken Benjamin Franklin’s words to heart, that failing to plan is planning to fail. With such confidence and planning, Barbaresco must be rated a serious contender.

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