Anton Marcus, one of South Africa’s finest jockeys, is expected back in the saddle at Scottsville in Pietermartizburg on Saturday after recovering from surgery for a severe wrist injury he suffered earlier this year.
The absolute professional, who is revered by punters for his outstanding riding ability, is carded to ride the five-year-old Dynasty gelding It’s My Turn for Dean Kannemeyer in the R300,000, Grade 3 Track & Ball Derby over 2400m. The gelding is one of three runners from the Kannemeyer yard in the 10-horse field and, together with The Slade, one of the two entries from the stable for the Vodacom Durban July.
Marcus suffered severe damage to his wrist after being dumped by Brett Crawford-trained three- year-old White River in the parade ring before a race and went into surgery on the day he was to ride champion Legal Eagle at Turffontein.
Kannemeyer, who has won three of the last four runnings of the 2400m Derby, holds a very strong hand with last year’s winner, Mr Winsome, who is well drawn in his attempt to complete the Derby double. At the weights the stable trio could fight out the finish but one runner who might upset matters is three-year-old Dynasty colt American Landing from the Crawford stable. Winner of the Eastern Cape Derby at his last start.
The R300,000 Track & Ball Oaks (Grade 3) has drawn a strong field of 15 fillies and mares, including two entries for the Vodacom Durban July, Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Girl On The Run who finished second to Zante in the Oaks last year, and three-year-old Go Deputy filly Flichity By Farr from the Alyson Wright stable who finished second in the Oaks at Turffontein.
Geoff Woodruff won the Oaks with Zante last year and fields Judpot filly Bi Pot who beat Girl On The Run by about a head in the Gerald Rosenberg and meets her again here on 3.5kg better terms than in the Highveld race. With Silvano filly Sunshine Silk, who comes off wins in her last two starts also in the race, Woodruff has a good chance of completing the Oaks double.
Other fillies who could feature are Joey Ramsden-trained Epona who was favourite to win the race last year, Sean Tarry-trained Witchcraft, who won the race in 2016 and finished fourth last year, and Australian-bred Leaves Of Grass, who ran third in the Scarlet Lady. Leaves Of Grass is trained by Candice Bass-Robinson.
Track And Ball Derby: 18-10 American Landing; 5-2 It`s My Turn; 4-1 The Slade; 6-1 Mr Win- some; 10-1 Forafewdollarsmore; 14-1 Ollivander; 20-1 Silver De Lange; 25-1 Liquid Rainbow; 33-1 Ballymaine, Top Classman
Track And Ball Oaks: 7-2 Flichity By Farr, Girl On The Run; 5-1 Bi Pot; 7-1 Wind Chill; 10-1 Meryl, Sunshine Silk; 12-1 Leaves Of Grass; 14-1 Royal Utopia, Epona; 16-1 Witchcraft; 20-1 Raya Baya; 33-1 Onesie; 40-1 Lady Li Lay; 50-1 Arizona Sunset; 66-1 Skyfire
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