Cup Trial key for July hopefuls

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - DAVID THISELTON

THE Gr 3 Cup Trial over 1 800m is a last gasp op­por­tu­nity for Vo­da­com Dur­ban July bor­der­line horses to put up their hands for a berth in the field and this year’s race will be fas­ci­nat­ing as six of the nine run­ners are July en­tries and they will all need big runs to book their places.

Ris­ing Sun in uni­son with Gold Cir­cle al­ways put on an amaz­ing race day and Greyville is the place to be on Satur­day to watch the Cup Trial, the Gr 1 Ris­ing Sun Gold Chal­lenge and the Gr 2 Ti­bouch­ina Stakes.

The Justin Snaith-trained Black Arthur is the fourth favourite in the July at 10/1 with Bet­ting World, yet is nowhere to be seen on the lat­est July log, which was re­leased yes­ter­day.

He started 10/1 for last year’s July and fin­ished a 2,75 length sev­enth, but was un­lucky as he was hin­dered by a horse in­side of him when mak­ing his run on the out­side and could have got closer.

He sub­se­quently had a haemo­con­cen­tra­tion prob­lem and can be for­given his be­low par form in the Cape sum­mer. Geld­ing has solved his is­sues and he was stay­ing on in the Drill Halls Stakes over 1 400m to fin­ish just 2,75 lengths back un­der An­thony Delpech.

He should come on a lot for the run and will rel­ish the step up in trip.

He has landed a good draw of four and Delpech, who part­nered him to win last sea­son’s Gr 2 Canon Guineas, stays aboard. He has to carry top­weight, but it would be no sur­prise if he turns out to be bet­ter than his cur­rent 104 merit rat­ing as he has al­ways been highly re­garded.

His sta­ble­mate Elu­sive Silva went up to near the top of the boards af­ter his im­pres­sive win un­der Delpech in the Listed Sledge­ham­mer over this course and dis­tance.

He is cur­rently a July 13/1 shot, hav­ing run a bit of a flat race in the Bet­ting World 1900, al­though the lack of pace did not suit him there and a gap did not open for him im­me­di­ately at the top of the straight.

He is now in po­si­tion 20 on the July log and needs a big run, but Delpech has opted for Black Arthur.

He could not have got a bet­ter re­place­ment in Richard Fourie and off his 99 merit rat­ing he gets 2,5kg from Black Arthur. He does have the widest draw of all to over­come and will likely have to rely on his mag­nif­i­cent turn of foot to earn a July berth.

Nebula is the Al­goa Cup holder and won his Cham­pi­ons Sea­son de­but over 1 600m on the Greyville poly hands and heels af­ter mov­ing up im­pres­sively. He looks to have come into his own and is drawn in pole.

The long-strid­ing Royal Badge was run­ning on in eye-catch­ing style in that race and will rel­ish the ex­tra 200m in this race.

Mas­ter Switch has run be­low par in all three of his starts at Greyville as he has not set­tled well, but he now has a plum draw and if he finds cover and set­tles he has the abil­ity to go close.

Cham­pion trainer Sean Tarry has four in the top 20 on the log and will try and qual­ify the gal­lant filly Tro­phy Wife in this race. She has been one of the best of a mag­nif­i­cent crop of fe­males and last time out was stay­ing on well for a 1,9 length third in de­fence of her Gr 2 Ger­ald Rosen­berg crown over 2 000m at Turf­fontein . Af­ter a lay­off she had three runs in about five weeks, so that was a tough ask and she might now be ready to give of her best.

Celtic Cap­tain has been scratched from the July as it is prob­a­bly a touch too far for him. He can be head­strong so is an­other one who needs cover, be­cause if he set­tles he has a fine turn of foot and a sus­tained fin­ish.

His draw of six is thus a bit tricky but if he does find cover and set­tles this trip will be ideal and he will go close.

Go Di­rect, not a July en­try, pro­duced an amaz­ing fin­ish to win a Pin­na­cle event over this trip at Turf­fontein in April and he was caught wide in the Bet­ting World 1900 be­fore end­ing in a prob­a­bly too handy po­si­tion.

He now has a plum draw and if held up off the pace could sur­prise.

The front-run­ning Crowd Pleaser is the most in­ter­est­ing run­ner in the race as he won an Al­lowance Plate over this trip on the poly last time out and beat none other than Edict Of Nantes and Lady Of The World, who won the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 and Gr 1 Woolav­ing­ton 2000 in their next re­spec­tive starts.

The lat­ter pair were likely pre­par­ing in that race but it was still a fine dis­play and Crowd Please has won his last three starts at Greyville. Against him is his wide draw as he will have to made some use of to get to the front.

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