S’Manga goes for glory... again
FORMER South African champion jockey S’Manga “Bling” Khumalo will have his eye on another record in the Vodacom Durban July at Greyville tomorrow when he attempts to become the first black jockey to win Africa’s biggest race twice.
Khumalo, who passed the post first on Heavy Metal in 2013, partners the very lightly raced and highly rated current favourite Al Sahem for trainer Sean Tarry and owner Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa al Maktoum from Dubai’s royal family.
The three-year-old son of Count DuBois only made his first racecourse appearance in December and has since won three of his six starts, including the Grade 1 SA Derby.
It will take all of Khumalo’s expertise in the saddle to get the inexperienced colt to greet the judges first.
Trainer Tarry is also concerned about Al Sahem’s draw.
“I’m not really happy with Al Sahem’s draw. No1 is a tricky gate for him because he is a lazy horse and may not be able to hold his position,” Tarry said.
Al Sahem’s main danger could come from his Daily News 2000 conqueror and fellow three year old, Edict of Nantes, who will carry 0.5kg more for a half length beating of the favourite.
Despite a poor official gallop last week, his trainer Brett Crawford is confident.
“Edict of Nantes has come through his last run like he has never run. He is very well,” Crawford said.
Umlazi-born Muzi Yeni will fly in from Mauritius to ride the Duncan Howells trained Betting World 1 900 winner Ten Gun Salute, who will fly the flag for KZN.
The gelding has come in for support on the betting boards and many see him as the dark horse which could upset the more fancied runners.
“He’s come through the 1 900 very well. He’s proved he runs better fresh so it is a matter of getting the timing spot on,” Howells said.
Trainer Justin Snaith has four horses in the race, including the “talking horse” Black Arthur, Master Sabina, Krambambuli and last year’s fourth placed runner It’s My Turn.
Black Arthur has received tons of betting support and has been backed into second favourite while Snaith’s other fancied runner, It’s My Turn, ridden by last year’s winning jockey, Piere Strydom, could just have his turn in the No 1 box.
“The three year olds are slung in this year. It’s like the handicappers forgot to give them weight.
“They are rated as if they aren’t remarkable. Luckily I’ve brought a couple of four year olds who are well weighted. If they weren’t they wouldn’t have a chance,” Snaith said.
Of course, he said, the outcome will “depend on the running of the race because it’s impossible to predict in a rough-run race. Luck in running will count for lots.”
Another three-year-old colt, R5.3m yearling purchase Horizon, is heavily fancied by his stable to run a cracker.
“I think out of our three runners, at the weights, he’s got the best chance, even from that draw,” assistant trainer Robert Faydherbe said.
“But the weight advantage brings him close enough to his fellow three year olds to consider him a huge danger with a bit of luck in running.”
Others to make a note of include the Candice Bass-Robinson trained filly Nightingale, last year’s runner-up Marinaresco, Tarry’s three-year-old filly Safe Harbour and last year’s winner The Conglomerate. – 701110
VICTORY CHARGE: S’Manga Khumalo will chase a second win in the July tomorrow when he rides favourite Al Sahem for Sean Tarry.