Edict Of Nantes new July favourite
BRETT Crawford scored his second Grade 1 double of the season at Greyville on Saturday courtesy of Edict Of Nantes and Lady Of The House and stands a fine chance of becoming the first trainer since 2001 to do the Met-Vodacom Durban July double in the same season with two different horses.
Mike Bass achieved the feat with Bunter Barlow and Trademark in 2001 and also did the double with Pocket Power in 2008.
The Mayfair Speculators-owned Count Dubois colt Edict Of Edict Of Nantes was an impressive winner of the Daily News 2000 under Anton Marcus.
His supporters will be waiting on tenterhooks to see how the handicapper views the race, but they need not be too anxious.
He beat the 106 merit rated SA Derby winner Al Sahem by 0,5 lengths and confirmed Investec Cape Derby form virtually exactly with Horizon.
The only other horse in the top five with form over a distance beyond a mile was the 81 merit rated Glider Pilot.
Therefore, Edict Of Nantes looks likely to be raised about five points to 107 and not much more.
It might have been a different story if the 101 merit rated SA Derby runner up Pagoda had finished fifth instead of sixth, as he could then have been used as a line horse.
As things stand Edict Of Nantes looks likely to have a nice galloping weight of somewhere from 54kg to 55kg in the July.
Betting World reacted by installing him the new 5-1 favourite. Al Sahem is at 11-2 and previous favourite Marinaresco is now 6-1.
Crawford won the Daily News in 2012 with Jackson.
However, Jackson appeared to became a more and more difficult customer the older he got as an entire. He duly over raced in the July.
In contrast Edict Of Nantes looks to be an easy ride.
He has it all, the gatespeed and early pace to help the jockey position him and the ability to be switched on and off at will.
He has shown himself capable of quickening superbly off both a slow or a fast pace. He is going to be a hard horse to beat in the July as he looks likely to relish the 2 200m trip and should come on from Saturday’s race.
On Saturday Al Sahem was unable to overcome a wide draw of eleven as easily as Edict Of Nantes had overcome his number nine draw. Edict Of Nantes ended up tracking Al Sahem and quickened past him despite being forced out wide. He then held Al Sahem at bay probably more comfortably than the winning margin suggests.
However, in the latter’s defence he will relish the 200m further of the July and was coming off a hard Highveld season. The front pair were clearly superior to third-placed Horizon.
The fourth-placed Glider Pilot is an A P Arrow gelding and is a half-brother to last year’s Daily News winner Rabada.
He ran on well from second last to finish five lengths back in just his third career start and it will be will be interesting to see whether trainer Tyrone Zackey supplements him.
In a 5,5 length fifth was Copper Force. This year’s Cape Derby was thought to have been a below par race due to the US$500,000 CTS Mile being run on the same day, yet Copper Force, runner up in the CTS Mile, was comfortably beaten by two Cape Derby contestants on Saturday, the Cape Derby winner Edict Of Nantes and the Cape Derby fifth-placed Horizon.
However, Copper Force was ahead of the Cape Derby runner up Zodiac Ruler and Cape Derby third-placed Captain Gambler, so has put his hand up for a July berth.
Zodiac Ruler stayed on from a good position for a 6,75 length seventh. He did take a bump at the start which might have affected him.
However, he was a borderline horse in 19th on the first July log and might come under pressure for a place.
However, the July scratchings of both Deo Juvente and Heavenly Blue, both near the top of the first log, will boost his chances.
Pagoda finished fast to beat Zodiac Ruler by 0,25 lengths, which might have been important as he was in 16th place on the first July log.
It will be interesting to see whether Mayfair Speculators supplement their Woolavington 2000 winner Lady Of The House.
Strydom overcame draw 18 of 18 to win last year’s July on the Mayfair Speculators-owned The Conglomerate and produced a virtual carbon copy race on Lady Of The House on Saturday.
He was given confidence by Mayfair Speculators Racing manager Derek Brugman, who advised him she was looking for the trip. Strydom eased her to the front at the halfway mark.
The rangy filly quickened at the top of the straight and stayed on resolutely.
She hung inward in the latter stages, but she always looked likely to hold the narrow runner up Gimme Six at bay and the subsequent objection was overruled.
Safe Harbour beat SA Fillies Classic winner Orchid Island into third and boosted her chances of a July berth as Orchid Island was in fifth place on the July log. Smiling Blue Eyes did her chances of getting into the July no good by finishing unplaced.
Captain Splendid was a fluent winner of the Gr 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2400m, but Banner Hill did his chances of getting into the July no favours by finishing seventh.
Later, the former Gr 1 -winning sprinter Guiness made it a day for Mayfair Speculators to remember.
The cherry on the top was when Markus Jooste, owner of Mayfair Speculators, was able to watch his colours out in front for much of the way in the Epsom Derby, where his part-owned horse Douglas Macarthur finished a gallant seventh.