The final field for the 2018 renewal of the R4,25 million Gr1 Vodacom Durban July was announced at Greyville on Tuesday afternoon.

The line-up of eighteen runners plus two reserves sees the country’s leading yards of Justin Snaith (5) and Sean Tarry (3) fielding eight runners between them. The 3yo’s dominate with eight representing  that age group.

Justin Snaith will fancy his chances of winning the race for a third time with a powerful quintet that is headed by current favourite and Cup Trial winner African Night Sky, as well as the progressive Made To Conquer, who will be partnered by Jeff Lloyd.

Sean Tarry is also looking for his third July win and his recently gelded Tilbury Fort, runner-up to Mike de Kock’s Yakeen – who also makes the cut – in the Jubilee Handicap, will have many supporters.

Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Coral Fever will carry top weight, while Geoff Woodruff’s SA Oaks winner Secret Potion carrying 52kgs at the other end of the scale.

There are bound to be a few hard-luck stories.

Paul Peter’s Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes winner Sabina’s Dynasty looks a tad unlucky not to have squeaked in.

As does Dean Kannemeyer’s 3yo Gr1 winner and Saturday’s facile Derby winner It’s My Turn.

The Christmas Handicap winner Roy Had Enough is another horse with reasonable form in Gr1 company at his last three starts.

The possible lucky horse has to be Paul Lafferty’s Dark Moon Rising (rated 101), a four-time winner of an MR90 Handicap at best. He is in good recent form and did finish close up in the Sledgehammer and the Greyville 1900 – but is that better than the three feature winners?


The field:

Sc# Draw Horse Mass MR Draw B A T Jockey Trainer

1 CORAL FEVER 60,00 118 4 B A M Yeni Robbie Sage

2 GOLD STANDARD 59,50 117 6 B A C Zackey Glen Kotzen

3 ABASHIRI 58,50 115 2 A P Strydom M G Azzie/A A Azzie

4 AFRICAN NIGHT SKY 57,00 112 10 A …………… Justin Snaith

5 ELUSIVE SILVA 56,50 111 14 A B Fayd’Herbe Justin Snaith

6 LIEGE 56,00 110 18 A T …………… Sean Tarry

7 STAR EXPRESS 55,50 109 9 A A Domeyer Justin Snaith

8 DO IT AGAIN 54,00 110 16 A …………… Justin Snaith

9 MAJESTIC MAMBO 54,00 110 19 A …………… Paul Peter

10 MATADOR MAN 53,50 105 15 B A …………… Sean Tarry

11 FIORELLA 53,00 108 8 A M Khan Duncan Howells

12 WHITE RIVER 53,00 108 13 A C Orffer Brett Crawford

13 TILBURY FORT 53,00 103 20 A T …………… Sean Tarry

14 YAKEEN 53,00 103 7 A R Simons Mike de Kock

15 MADE TO CONQUER 53,00 102 12 A J Lloyd Justin Snaith

16 ROCKET COUNTDOWN 53,00 102 5 A …………… Candice Bass-Robinson

17 DARK MOON RISING 53,00 101 3 A W Kennedy Paul Lafferty

18 SECRET POTION 52,00 102 11 A M V’Rensburg Geoff Woodruff

Reserve Runners

19 PACK LEADER 53,00 106 17 A Reserve 1 Glen Kotzen

20 CROWD PLEASER 53,00 102 1 A Reserve 2 J A Janse van Vuuren