Edict Of Nantes new July favourite

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

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.

Al Sa­hem

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

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.

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