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By Muzi Yeni


Royal July victory anticipated, Double Grand Slam looks best banker on Greyville card

Mount well handicapped and will jump from pole position

It’s Hollywoodbets Durban July Day at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday, the most awaited horseracing event on the South African calendar.  

This is the meeting I most look forward to and it’s the race I want to win most of all.

Besides the thrill of competing in the R5-million race over 2,200m, the day is filled with the top-class racing all the way through and this is the meeting we will be focusing on.

The main race is backed up by the Grade 1 Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes, which is one of the best races for fillies and mares in the entire year and is one of my favourites, too.

There are also three Grade 2s, two Grade 3s and a Listed race on the card, so it’s a racing purist’s dream day.

I have been unlucky in the big race so far and I am hoping that the form will change this year with Royal Victory, a horse that has been so good to me.

Last Saturday saw the running of the KZN Breeders Mile and Mrs Geriatrix got back to winning ways with a very good victory in the race.

A top class two-year-old who has had a few hard-luck stories in her races at three, has now got her career back on track.

Let’s move straight on to Saturday’s 12-race card, and I have 10 rides, some of which should be very competitive so here’s hoping for a lovely day.

Races on the card

Race 1 is a MR 80 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1,400m on the Polytrack and I ride Bosnay who is having her third run after a rest and drops in trip. Both factors are positives for her, so I’ll be hoping to run into the money in what looks to be a competitive race.

Very impressive debut winner (8.60 length winner) Lock And Key is the filly we all have to beat.

It was a sensational performance on debut, and she could be very well underrated. It will take a good one to beat her.

Nettleton steps up in trip but that could suit her and she rates the main danger.

Rani Of Jhansi ran a very good race last time and a repeat of that will see her finish in the money.

All of Mauritania, Flamboyant Flyer and Vihaan’s Queen have place chances on best form, so include them into your Trifectas and Quartets.

Race 2 is a MR 96 Handicap over 1,400m on the poly and I ride Princeofgreen who ran really well on his comeback run. I think he has a definite winning chance and must go into all bets.

The Grey King’s saddle slipped in the Daily News 2000 last time, so you can draw a line through that run. But his previous form is outstanding and he has run to the likes of Green With Envy and Flag Man, so on that form he is the horse to beat.

Good Traveller just got touched off last week his two runs on the poly was a very good win and a short-head second last week, so he rates a definite runner and must be respected.

Queue Wing is consistent and has an each-way chance for wider bets.

Race 3 is the Grade 3 Splashout 2200 and I ride Master Fuego who is one of the unexposed horses in this race.

His last win was a really good win so on that run and the evidence of his previous runs, he’ll love the step up in trip, so I give him a definite winning chance.

Ponte Pietra was very unlucky in his latest start when unable to find a clear run. He can be a bit heady in running, but if Sean Veale can get him to settle, he is the horse to beat.

Mucho Dinero has been disappointing in KZN and I thought he’d just about win his last start. But if able to produce his best form, he is a horse capable of winning.

Pomodoro’s Jet and Atticus Finch come out of the same race, the former, very unlucky in running too, and both have winning claims on best form.

Race 4 is the Grade 3 DSTV Gold Vase over 3,000m and I ride Breeze Over who ran a lovely race last time when just touched off to Raiseahallelujah, the favourite for this. He’ll love the step up in trip, so I’m going for a decent run, although I am slightly concerned over the tightness of the track.

Raiseahallelujah won a good race last time and his penultimate start was very good as well, so he is once again the horse I think we all have to beat.

Down To Business won a lovely race when running home strongly to win, and if he settles in running, then he will be motoring home at the end and will be right there.

None Other is the best weighted horse in the race and had legit excuses last time out (over a trip short of her best), so she must go into all bets.

One Way Traffic and Indian Ocean are others to consider for smaller bets.

Race 5 is the Grade 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper for two-year-old fillies over 1,400m and I ride Khethiwe’s Destiny who won a really good race last time out. She gave me an unreal feel, so I am expecting a massive run from her even though this is a major jump in class.

We all have Gimmie’s Countess to beat after her luckless run in the Grade 1 last time out.

She had absolutely no where to go and when she did find a gap, the race was over. The step up in trip will be of no concern and she will take all the beating.

Quid Pro Quo won the Grade 1 that day and did not have the easiest of passages either. That she got up showed she has a phenomenal turn of foot and is the main danger.

Little Ballerina won the SA Fillies Nursery and then followed up with another triumph. The step up in trip might suit. She is a high-class filly and must be respected.

VJ’s Angel has been very impressive in her wins and could be anything, so she also needs to be included in wider bets.

The Hollywoodbets Durban July

Race 6 is the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1,400m and I ride Waheed who ran a really good race last time out after pulling and racing wide. With better luck in running, I’ll be hoping to run into the money.

Truth has looked a superstar in his two wins to date and a repeat of those wins will make him hard to beat.

Green Plains has really impressed me with his turn of foot and his victories in KZN so he rates the main danger.

Cosmic Speed gets to jump from the lovely No 2 draw and he could get the run of the race. He showed he has the class to compete at this level when runner-up in the Grade 1 last time. On that run he must be included in all bets.

Grade 1 winner Proceed, the pick of Richard Fourie, must be respected, even though he jumps from a wide draw, the only reason he is not my first choice.

Race 7 is the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July over 2,200m and I ride multiple Grade 1 winner Royal Victory. He has had a lovely prep into the race and I believe he is a very well handicapped horse who jumps from the best draw of all. On that, I make him my value bet on the day as I’m expecting a huge effort from him.

I firmly believe he is the No 1 older horse in the race and if the three-year-olds aren’t good enough, then we are the horse they all have to beat.

Green With Envy has done absolutely nothing wrong so far and has shown himself to be an absolute champion. He has had a perfect prep and has everything in his favour, so I believe he is the main danger.

Oriental Charm has had the same prep as last year’s winner Winchester Mansion and he comes in with a very handy weight. He is one for the shortlist.

See It Again is the class horse in the race, but I think he’ll find it tough to give away the weight over this trip, but he must still be respected for wider bets.

Flag Man went from a handicap win to a short-head second in the Grade 1 Daily News, and he could be anything, so he must go into wider bets.

Race 8 is the Grade 1 Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes over 1,600m and my best bet on the card comes up in the form of Double Grand Slam. She jumps from gate No 3 and should get the run of the race and on the manner of her recent starts, she’ll be very hard to beat.

Silver Sanctuary won a lovely race in the Grade 1 Woolavington last time out but that was over 2,000m and while I still think she is effective over the shorter trip, she’ll find it hard to beat my selection.

Rascova won a very good race last time out but was previously beaten comfortably by Double Grand Slam and off a wide draw, I think she’ll find it hard to beat her again.

Finishing the programme

Race 9 is the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1,200m and I ride Teflon Man who did extremely well to get up and win in his latest start, after a very unlucky penultimate run.

He is an up-and-coming sprinter who could still be underrated and on that I am expecting a massive run.

Royal Aussie is the class horse of the race, and while he has to give away lots of weight away, he is the horse we all have to beat off a good draw.

Melech ran a lovely race last time out when finishing strongly in the Grade 1 and off draw No 3, he shouldn’t find himself that far behind and rates a definite runner.

Tail Of The Comet is a high-class three-year-old who returns after a fairly lengthy break. Sean Tarry has opted to go straight into this race which must be respected and if close to peak fitness, he’ll be right there.

Stable companion Winter Greeting is a lovely filly who is well weighted. She must be respected and included in all bets.

Cruise Control, I Am Giant and At My Command all ran lovely races last time out and have to be respected.

This is close to the most open race on the card, so go as wide as the budget allows.

Race 10 is the Listed Compendium Insurance Brokers Handicap over 1,600m and I ride Lady Of Power who drops back in trip after a fair run last time out, but off a wide draw, I’ll be hoping she runs into the money.

The Shepard ran a superb race to Dave The King last time out and a repeat of that will make him the horse to beat.

Get Impressed gave me a good feel when getting up last time out and is better than rated, so he is the main danger.

That’s My Baby was very unlucky last time and should have just about won, so she must go into all bets.

Noble City ran well last week and must be included into wider bets.

Formagear is a class horse and is unbeaten in two starts over this course and distance so must be included in all bets.

Race 11 is a Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares over 1,200m and I make this is race in three.

I think Shipholia is the one to beat after a lovely run in the Grade 1 last time out.

She has much better form around the bend, so she’ll love being back at Greyville and the 3kg in her favour with Shantastic for a one-length beating should turn that form around.

Shantastic is the main danger though off a good draw and drop in class too. This is her third run after a rest and she should be cherry ripe.

Just Be Lekker won a very good race last time out and has always shown to be a very good filly. She definitely has the ability to win a race of this nature so must go into all bets.

Race 12 is a MR 90 Handicap over 1,000m and I ride Warrior Of Royalty who returns from a lengthy break and I’ll be hoping for the best.

We all have Chocolate Soldier to beat. This is a speedball who won comfortably last time out when he went around the turn for the first time.

He tries the poly for the first time but off draw No 1 he’ll take all the beating if all goes well.

Yamadori won a very good race last time out but he jumps from the widest gate and that won’t be easy, but I still make him the main danger.

B Fiftytwo gets blinkers and off a good draw should definitely finish in the money.

Black Egret is in good form and has a place chance.


Race 8 No 3 Double Grand Slam


Race 7 No 1 Royal Victory



Leg 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Leg 2: 1, 3, 7

Leg 3: 2, 5, 10, 11, 14

Leg 4: 1, 5

Leg 5: 3

Leg 6: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 14

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Hollywoodbets Durban July

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