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Vodacom Durban July Joker

Greyville, Turf, 2200m
6 July 2013

mick gossMick Goss
Summerhill CEO
You’d have to be a brave man to risk your name on the outcome of Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July. I haven’t heard a soul being adamant about the name of a winner, though the one that seems to crop up more often than most, is the three-year-old S.A. Derby victor, Wylie Hall.

Even a man of very distinct beliefs, which Robbie Hill is, was kicking for touch when he visited with Pat Shaw on Monday. All “The Prince” would offer, when asked what five horses he would’ve chosen to ride, was he knew “which five he wouldn’t have picked”. There’s hardly a scribe, journo or nascent blogger out there, that hasn’t got an opinion of his own, but the one thing that unites just about the lot, is that it’s the most open July in years.

We agree. What they all appear to have missed though, is the prime reason for it. There’s no “De Kock” factor in this year’s line-up. Ever since his dual Classic winner Vercingetorix was scratched, the element of “certainty” that surrounds this all-conquering team, deserted us, and ever since, fans have been casting about, searching for clues. For our money, you can throw the cards into the clouds, and see how they settle, which means that this could be the year of dreamers, the “sangomas”, the nannies and the grannies. What we are willing to venture though, are our picks of the card, (see below) and after that, the best of luck to you.

Mick’s Picks for July Day

Race 3: Mango 2200: Grade 3 2200m
Gold Onyx (big chance)
Master Plan, Black Wing (Summerhill), River Crossing and Patriotic Rebel (Summerhill) (chance)
Race 4: Mercedes Benz Gold Vase (Grade 2) 2400m
Blake (big chance)
Sage Throne, Putney Flyer and Canterbury Tale (chance)
Race 5: Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper (Grade 1) 1400m
Happy Valentine (big chance)
Admirals Eye (Summerhill), Arcetri Pink, Dover Beach (Summerhill), Mensoora, Winter Star (Summerhill) (chance)
Race 6: Durban Golden Horseshoe (Grade1) 1400m
Captain Of All (big chance)
Buffalo Bill (Summerhill), Normanz, Willow Magic and Zambezi Torrent (chance)
Race 7: Vodacom Durban July (Grade 1) 2200m
Pomodoro, Heavy Metal, Hill Fifty Four, Run For It, Capetown Noir, No Worries (Summerhill), Wylie Hall and Jet Explorer (chances)
Summerhill entries : Love Struck, Gothic and Shogunnar
Race 8: Thukela Handicap Listed 1600m
Berry Blaze, General Sherman, Territorial Waters & Lehaaf (chances)
Summerhill entries : Maliyakhe and Emperor Augustus
Race 9: Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (Grade 1) 1600m
Beach Beauty, Princess Victoria (big chance)
Thunder Dance, Blueridge Mountain and Esupmanti (chance)
Race 10: Pomodoro Handicap 1000m
Copper Parade, Merhee, Tetelestai & Showmetheway (SH) (chance)
Race 11: Ethekwini Sprint: 1200m Non-Black Type
Desert Sheik (big chance)
Tevez, Casual Var, Regal Eagle (chance)
Summerhill entries: Indaba My Children and Strongmind

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