Rainbow Bridge is tipped to land a first Vodacom Durban July sash for owning and breeding doyen Mike Rattray.

The Eric Sands-trained five-year-old Ideal World gelding has always been good but is currently at the peak of his prowess and jumps from a plum draw of two. His rider, the national champion jockey elect Warren Kennedy, is cool, calm and collected and is particularly good at placing a horse in the running. Rainbow Bridge showed in the Sun Met that he can be ridden positively and still perform to his best. In the Gold Challenge he relaxed beautifully in front, dictated and ran on to win. With his more relaxed demeanour these days he should get every inch of the 2200m and his versatility in running style will allow the strategically astute Kennedy to implement plan B if the pace does not pan out as fast as expected in the early stages.

The three-year-olds do not look to be vintage this year but a closer look at the best of them, Got The Greenlight, suggests he could be better than his bare form shows. He tends to take the foot off the pedal when hitting the front but the manner in which he has toyed with two or three Grade 1 three-year-old fields suggests that if he had something to chase he could up his game considerably.

Tierra Del Fuego would be weighted to dead-heat with Hawwaam if the latter was in the field on his run in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge. That was his first try beyond a mile and he stayed all the way to the line, thus confirming he is influenced by his female line which contains plenty of stamina. Gavin Lerena should be able to ride him more confidently now, knowing he stays.

Do It Again has hinted he could bounce back to his best and is 1kg better off with Rainbow Bridge than last year. However, he does have the widest draw of all to overcome in his bid to make history by winning it three years in a row.

Bunker Hunt has come into his own and on form has a chance at the weights and on his Met run he should stay the trip.

Belgarion is said to be the best handicapped horse as his merit rating is capped due to a condition which allowed his impressive win in the WSB 1900 to be penalised only six points. If he finds cover he could well win, but the problem is he likes to stride out and is drawn 17, so risks being caught wide.

Vardy has a lot of class and an exceptional turn of foot and if he gets the run of the race from draw nine on the back of an even tempo-ed pace, he has a fine chance. However, if the pace is too fast it might expose a possible stamina limitation.

Soqrat had a tough Cape Summer and there is a concern he might not be the same horse he once was. However, if he is able to reproduce his Summer Cup run he could be involved in the finish.

Those eight are selected in order of mention.

Of the others Twist Of Fate, third last year and a courageous and consistent type, would be a better bet for the top six than a few of those mentioned above. However, he has not been included in the top eight because he looks unlikely to win it.

Miyabi Gold has blossomed and is probably better now than when finishing fifth last year.

Shango can be ignored at your peril as he impressed when winning the Dingaans and this might be the first time he has been at his peak since.

Silvano’s Pride will be dangerous if able to dictate in front.

It’s My Turn has placed in this race before.

Divine Odyssey finished a 3,35 length eighth last year and has an outside top six chance.

Golden Ducat looks held by Got The Greenlight.

Camphoratus placed sixth last year but the field looks stronger this time.

Capoeira looks held at the weights.

Padre Pio is 4,5kg under sufferance and unlike Got The Greenlight does not look any better than that.

 

 

 

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