Marinaresco does it for Bass-Robinson

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

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.

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