Here are your picks for the big race, while Mike Moon gives you his own picks for the races.
1 GOLDEN DUCAT (Donovan Dillon) Eric Sands 25-1
A ducat might be the wrong currency in this rich company. A talented youngster, but his elders might have a better exchange rate.
2 RAINBOW BRIDGE (Warren Kennedy) Eric Sands 4-1
This could be the route to a pot of gold. Favourite. Finished second last year and could easily go one better with champion jockey-elect in the saddle.
3 PADRE PIO (Ant Mgudlwa) Dennis Bosch 40-1
On a wing and a prayer, this kid might run into the money. Speedy three-year-old and a canny trainer aiming to spring a “hallelujah”. Place chance.
4 MIYABI GOLD (Keagan de Melo) Justin Snaith 25-1
Can the five-year-old mare improve on her commendable fifth place of last year? Maybe not in this strong field.
5 SOQRAT (Callan Murray) Mike de Kock 10-1
Master trainer, top young rider, very classy colt, peak run, nice draw – what’s not to like? OK, there is the name, but he’s got a massive chance.
6 TWIST OF FATE (Aldo Domeyer) Adam Marcus 20-1
No twists and turns with this one; he’s as game and consistent as they come and grabbed third place last year. Up-and-coming young trainer and powerful jockey put him well in the reckoning.
7 SHANGO (Lyle Hewitson) Sean Tarry 20-1
Named after the West African god of thunder. The horse is untested at this level and would be a thunderous upset winner – even with a reigning champion jockey holding the reins.
8 CAPOEIRA (Tristan Godden) Andre Nel 50-1
The name refers to an Afro-Brazilian martial art, which involves handstands and inverted kicks. It would be a right kick in the punters’ whatsits if he pulled this off.
9 VARDY (Craig Zackey) Adam Marcus 12-1
Rising stars – horse, jockey and trainer. They’ve already scored in the Cape Met and could sprint through to bang it in the back of the July net – like the Brit footballer namesake. Lurking stamina doubt.
10 DIVINE ODYSSEY (Stuart Randolph) Johan Janse van Vuuren 50-1
Down-to-earth, bread-and-butter dependable, despite the name. Outside place chance.
11 TIERRA DEL FUEGO (Gavin Lerena) Sean Tarry 20-1
A continental drift away from Africa’s Greatest Race. Steady performer, champion trainer, strong jockey: credentials that might get him into the money.
12 IT’S MY TURN (Sean Veale) Dean Kannemeyer 33-1
Magnificent marathoner plagued by injury. At seven years old he might have had his turn, though we shouldn’t be ageist. Place chance.
13 GOT THE GREENLIGHT (Muzi Yeni) Joe Soma 7-1
Would be a very popular winner. Charismatic jockey, affable trainer and hot three-year-old form. Green for go.
14 BUNKER HUNT (Grant van Niekerk) Justin Snaith 7-1
Many pundits’ “dark horse”. Say no more.
15 SILVANO’S PRIDE (Sereno Moodley) Justin Snaith 50-1
Loves being out front, so she’ll probably be the pacemaker for the trainer’s strong team of five runners. Can she hang on and hold off 17 voracious rivals? Unlikely.
16 CAMPHORATUS (Gareth Wright) Robbie & Shannon Hill 75-1 (or more)
Is that the scent of the almighty upset of all time in the air?
17 BELGARION (Richard Fourie) Justin Snaith 9-2
Joint favourite, despite a wide barrier draw. That’s thanks to clever preparation that brings the talented four-year-old in with a very handy weight and impeccable form. Looks like the stable’s pick.
18 DO IT AGAIN (Anton Marcus) Justin Snaith 10-1
Two-time Durban July hero going for the hat-trick and umpteen more headline puns on his name. He starts among deckchairs on the beachfront thanks to the widest draw of all, but he has a five-time July champ to steer him around. Already a legend; aiming for immortality.
Mike Moon’s selections for July day
Race 1: 9 Chimichuri Run, 6 Chantyman, 3 Captain Tatters, 2 Singforafa
Race 2: 4 Dandolo, 10 Native Tongue, 8 Winter Stories, 14 Verichey
Race 3: 2 Sovereign Spirit, 3 Cat Daddy, 12 Pack Leader, 13 Tristful
Race 4: 13 Imperial Ruby, 5 Factor Fifty, 14 Shenanigans, 8 Wealthy
Race 5: 1 Caralluma, 5 Afternoon Tea, 4 Love Bomb, 7 Delta Queen
Race 6: 4 Erik The Red, 8 Gold Season, 5 Ashford Castle, 1 Fast Love
Race 7 (Vodacom Durban July): 18 Do It Again, 5 Soqrat, 2 Rainbow Bridge, 3 Padre Pio, 13 Got The Greenlight, 12 It’s My Turn (TAB pays out six places on this race)
Race 8: 7 Celtic Sea, 13 Clouds Unfold, 2 Vistula, 8 Ronnie’s Candy
Race 9: 4 Rio Querari, 3 Battleoftrafalgar, 1 Cartel Captain, 3 12 Hooves Of Troy
Race 10: 4 Crown Towers, 10 Born To Perform, 7 Hudoo Magic, 9 Priceless Ruler
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