2018 Durban July tips – 20/1 shot could be a Dark horse in South Africa’s big handicap

Jonathan Vine in Expert Tips 5 Jul 2018

Our expert takes a look through the betting for the Durban July and picks out an each-way contender he feels is worth backing at Greyville on Saturday 7th July.

A capacity crowd of 50,000 spectators will take their place in the stands at Greyville on Saturday, all ready to enjoy the 122nd renewal of the Durban July. This historic handicap has been won by some of Africa’s best flat racers and a strong field will assemble this weekend to battle it out for their share of the highly lucrative, R4.25m prize pot.

Our expert has taken a look through the field of 20 runners confirmed in the Durban July and provided readers with his top tips for South Africa’s most famous race.

3:20pm Greyville Vodacom Durban July (Grade 1) 1m3f



African Knight Sky comfortably leads the way in the betting for this year’s contest, after winning well in the Cup Trial at Greyville. He performed best of the Durban July entrants in the Sun Met, but he’s yet to produce consistent form in Group One company and offers little to no value at 2/1.

The second of Justin Snath’s quintet of challengers is Do It Again, who arguably brings the best three-year-old form into the race. Horses in that age group have a fairly poor record in the Durban July and it was a surprise to see Anton Marcus booked, considering Bernard Fayd’Herbe has ridden Do It Again on all his career starts.

Another three-year-old to take a look at is the filly Fiorella, who has the returning Mark Khan in the saddle. She’s come up against the best in her sex over recent months and has hardly put a foot wrong, but her pedigree does raise definite questions as to whether she will see out the eleven furlong trip.

There are two important factors to take into consideration when betting on the Durban July - the draw and the pace of the race. An inside draw has been seen as extremely advantageous at Greyville, giving the likes of Abashiri a huge boost.

Abashiri is a likely front-runner, with confirmed stamina and good form to back up his claims. Piere Strydom will go to the front and the pair could be hard to beat if given an uncontested lead. However, if they go out hard and fast early on, it could set the race up perfectly for DARK MOON RISING and he will be my each-way selection.

Paul Lafferty’s charge was well-beaten on the only occasion he entered top-level company last season, passing the post ninth as Edict Of Nantes won the Daily News 2000.  Following a poor reappearance, Lafferty stepped his Ideal World progeny up to a mile and the gelding has never looked back.

Dark Moon Rising sealed back-to-back victories in eight furlong handicaps here at Greyville, carrying large weights to victory from stalls one and 13 respectively. He then placed in Listed and Group Two company where, had it not been for slightly sluggish starts, he could easily have scored victories on both occasions.

Dark Moon Rising was doing his best work in the latter stages of both the Sledgehammer and the 1900. He looked extremely comfortable over the nine-furlong trip in the 1900, so stepping up in trip here could bring about further improvement. Warren Kennedy’s mount gets in right at the bottom of the weights and has an enviable record around this tricky track to back up his each-way claims.

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2018 Durban July tips – 20/1 shot could be a Dark horse in South Africa’s big handicap

Our expert takes a look through the betting for the Durban July and picks out an each-way contender he feels is worth backing at Greyville on Saturday 7th July.

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