Vodacom Durban July hero Marinaresco and Sun Met runner-up Last Winter fly out for their 90-day quarantine stint in Mauritius next Monday.
Dean Kannemeyer, who has Hong Kong ambitions in December for Last Winter, is relieved that the decision was taken for the horse to leave the country this month rather than travel after running in the Durban July.
He said: “It means that we have plenty of time for him to recover and get acclimatised. Had we waited for the July that might not have been the case.”
Cape Town racing returns to Durbanville for four consecutive meetings on Saturday with a further two in April. The course will stage its first two-year-old races since February 2016.
More use is being made of Durbanville since the racing surface was improved and there are 27 meetings scheduled there this year compared with 29 on the Kenilworth summer course and 25 on the winter course.
In 2016, Durbanville’s last full year of operation, there were 16 meetings at the country course – primarily in February and September/October but now there will be at least one meeting a month with the exception of May, November and December.
Betting turnover there used to be low relative to Kenilworth but, according to manager Dean Diedericks, it has improved significantly since the re-opening.
By Michael Clower