Marinaresco does it for Bass-Robinson
CANDICE Bass-Robinson achieved the notable feat of winning the country’s biggest race, the Vodacom Durban July, in her first season as a licensed trainer on Saturday with Marinaresco under a fine ride by Bernard Fayd’Herbe, who landed his second July. Bass-Robinson became the first woman to train a July winner.
The little horse proved there is only one way for him to run and that is to be held up off the pace.
The win scored a remarkable fourth July victory for his top drawer sire Silvano.
The Maine Chance Farms-based stallion landed a July trifecta two years ago and this year did the exacta.
He also had the fifth horse home and the all important sixth place finisher, Horizon, is out of his full sister.
This unbelievable achievement saw Silvano securing a second National Sires Championship as he is well clear in the standings.
Last year, Marinaresco just failed to get there after coming from last and the difference this year was he came from a touch closer and the pace was a touch quicker.
The race was the fourth fastest July since the distance was upped to 2 200m in 1970.
The faster the race the truer the result and there can be little coincidence that BassRobinson’s father Mike Bass trained the winners of the fastest and third fastest 2 200m Julys, they being Trademark in 2001 and Pocket Power, who dead-heated with Dancer’s Daughter in 2008.
Marinaresco carried the same colours as Pocket Power, those of prolific Cape Town owner Marsh Shirtliff.
Back in 2008 Candice was assistant trainer to father Mike and another assistant back then was Robert Fayd’Herbe, who is still with the yard and has done a sterling job over the last two seasons looking after their Champions Season string at Summerveld.
Robert is brother of jockey Bernard. Mike Bass, who retired at the end of last season, was present on course with his ever enthusiastic wife Carol as well as his son Mark, who plays an administrative role in the yard. Bernard dedicated the win to Mike. The Bass’s have now won a total of four Julys between them as they also did it with Dunford in 2005.
Shirtliff’s long term partner in Marinaresco has been fellow big Cape Town owner Bryn Ressell.
However, Freddie Green and Mike Bass himself had joined the partnership before last year’s July.
Fayd’Herbe dropped back and found the rail from the number eight draw and Marinaresco was able to stride out freely for most the journey due to the good fractions set up front by last year’s winning jockey Piere Strydom on It’s My Turn.
Strydom had little option but to move to the front as he found himself three wide near the front at the first turn.
Earlier, Krambambuli had crossed over to take it up from last year’s winner, The Conglomerate.
The Conglomerate had towed the pole position drawn favourite Al Sahem threw into a handy position.
The second favourite Edict Of Nantes ran three horse widths away from the rail the whole way, but did at least have cover behind Brazuca.
Strydom won from the front in 1996 in tailwind conditions on London News and he cleverly slowed it up a fraction coming up the hill. Greg Cheyne switched outward on Krambambuli in response.
S’Manga Khumalo on Al Sahem understandably switched outward at the same time and begun rousting his mount.
However, with the advantage of hindsight, this move was probably unnecessary as The Conglomerate, whom he had sat behind the whole way, had been able to creep closer on the rail.
Krambambuli matched a hard ridden It’s My Turn under the hands and when he was driven into the lead at the 200m mark an upset looked on the cards.
The Sabine Plattner-owned Justin Snaithtrained horse had initially been the longest priced horse in the final field, but a flood of money saw him shortening into 16-1 at the off.
Meanwhile, Fayd’Herbe had remained patient on the rail coming up the hill and he said later he had so much horse underneath him when swinging off the false rail he just needed to find a split.
He found himself with plenty of space in the centre and then eyed a gap towards the inside, but not before Anthony Delpech had flashed across him on Nightingale eyeing a gap towards the outside.
The gap towards the inside opened for Marinaresco when The Conglomerate began fading.
Fayd’Herbe committed and the little bay pushed his head outward in that familiar head carriage style of his.
He then swooped in devastating fashion to overtake Krambambuli, who had been unable to find extra.
Towards the outside Al Sahem’s resolute finish and Edict Of Nantes late surge also carried them past Krambambuli. Nightingale and Horizon were right there too. But, Marinaresco had done it by a head. Runner up Al Sahem had a gap close on him at the 300m mark which meant Khumalo had to wait for a moment before he could give his all. However, the only possible hard luck story was Edict Of Nantes.
He initially had a dream run on the outside, but Marcus did not give his all, no doubt needing to reserve a little due to the taxing wide path the horse had travelled in the running.
However, just when it was time to produce the final burst Nightingale hung across away from the whip and Edict Of Nantes was cramped for room.
He did still manage to produce a magnificent late surge to be beaten only 0,35 lengths into third, but the race was already lost.
Bass-Robinson also trains Nightingale and Horizon, beaten 0,4 and 0,65 lengths into fifth and sixth.
In a July sideshow, Horizon’s beating of seventh-placed Black Arthur by half-a-length would have proved a point.
Marinaresco was bred by Mary and Jessica Slack’s Mauritzfontein Stud.
It was a great day’s racing, one which left punters and partygoers wishing it could be repeated next weekend.
However, they will all have to wait for another year for the country’s biggest horseracing event.