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By Mike Moon

Horse racing correspondent

Record-breaking jockey Richard Fourie has a date with Future Swing

Mixed fortunes for Durban July hopefuls heat up the big-race brew.

Fresh off breaking the record for most winners in a season, jockey Richard Fourie has been named as the rider of 12-1 shot Future Swing at the Hollywoodbets Durban July in four weeks’ time.

The in-demand Cape rider has been vague and evasive about his July date. But, the minute Fourie smashed Anthony Delpech’s long-standing 334 mark at Greyville on Saturday, champion trainer Justin Snaith scribbled his erstwhile retained jock’s name on the July declaration sheet alongside the progressive four-year-old gelding.

Fourie has partnered three July winners for Snaith – Legislate (2014), Do It Again (2019) and Belgarion (2020).

Other jockeys

Snaith had already made two other jockey bookings – Rachel Venniker on 20-1 chance Without Question and Grant van Niekerk on 33-1 hopeful Hluhluwe.

Snaith’s three other candidates among the July’s 33 standing entries – Snow Pilot, Mucho Dinero and Double Superlative – have yet to be assigned riders, though connections hint that Briton Danny Muscutt might be flown out to try to reprise his Cape Town Met victory on the latter.

Snow Pilot and Mucho Dinero ran dismal July prep races at Greyville – in the Gold Challenge and the Cup Trial respectively.

By contrast, several other July entries used their weekend engagements to score ‘Brownie points’ ahead of the announcement of the Second July Log of “probables” this week.

Gold Challenge

Mike de Kock-trained Dave The King and his big stride bagged the 1600m Grade 1 Gold Challenge and confirmed a high merit rating that many observers believed was false. Second and third in that race, Cousin Casey from Sean Tarry’s yard and Michael Roberts’s See It Again, also polished July credentials and shortened in the big-race betting.

However, well-regarded Snow Pilot, Main Defender and Lucky Lad had a tough afternoon. The latter was immediately scratched from the July by Tarry.

Brett Crawford’s largely unheralded Oriental Charm shook up the July cocktail with a brave win in the Cup Trial and was slashed to 6-1 for the July. Runner-up Shoemaker and third-placed Ponte Pietre didn’t harm
their chances of making the final July field, while well-beaten Imelenzeyokududuma, Narina Trogon and Mucho Dinero did.

In Joburg, Meridius won the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap – a July last-chance saloon for Highveld horses – and was hastily supplemented into the big race by his trainer Tony Peter.

Dual Grade 1 winner Purple Pitcher failed to match 9-4 expectations, finished down the drain, and saw his July prospects drift from 20s to 40s.