Crawford and Candice eye memorable victory’s at Greyville on Saturday in 2017 Durban July

Brett Crawford and Candice Bass-Robinson will saddle leading contenders in the Durban July this Saturday, both aiming to claim memorable victories in South Africa’s most famous race.

Crawford has enjoyed a highly successful season, claiming prestigious titles all over the country. The 45-year-old has won everything there is to win in his homeland, however, the Durban July continues to elude him. 

The closest Crawford has come to adding this historic honour to his resume was when Angus lost by a head in 2002. Speaking to the South African press this week, Crawford recalled the pain he felt after that agonizing defeat.

“That was hard to take because I thought we had won,” Crawford said, “I never even saw Ipi Tombe who came with such a dash that she got up on the line.  People kept saying to me that it was some achievement in my first season but in this game, nobody ever remembers who came second!”

Cape Derby winner, Edict Of Nantes has been sitting atop the betting with SportingBet for the Durban July ever since that Kenilworth triumph back in January.

Crawford’s three-year-old has been joined at the head of the market by Al Sahem over recent months, but after Edict Of Nantes beat his Durban July rival to the Daily News 2000 title last month and following a favourable draw in barrier 13, it would be a surprise if Edict Of Nantes didn’t go to post as the clear favourite.

“Edict Of Nantes is also doing well.” Crawford said, when asked how his favourite was shaping ahead of Saturday’s main event. “He is racing fit so all we have to do now is look after him and keep him happy.”

Candice Bass-Robinson is no stranger to narrow defeats in the Durban July. Last year, she looked on as Marinaresco was pipped to the post by 20/1 shot, The Conglomerate, denying Bass-Robinson the glory of becoming the first female trainer ever to win the Durban July.

Her legendary father, Mike Bass won this title on three occasions, most recently in 2008 when Pocket Power dead-heated with Justin Snaith’s, Dancers Daughter in what was the most thrilling, controversial finish the Durban July has ever produced.

Candice has enjoyed a mixture of success and heartache since taking over her father’s operation last summer. Marinaresco may have been burdened with top weight and travels to Greyville on the back of a dismal showing in the Group 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, but Bass-Robinson was quick to excuse her charge’s poor recent form and said he was ready to go this weekend.

“There was nothing amiss but I think the pace over a mile was a bit too hard for him and maybe he was racing a little bit too close to it for his liking. He is 100%.”

Bass-Robinson also looks set to send Nightingale to the Durban July. The filly out of Silvano won the Majorca earlier in the season and was narrowly beaten into second in the Group 1 Tibouchina here at Greyville last month. She has the option of locking horns with Tibouchina conqueror, Just Sensual in the Garden Province Stakes, but connections said they are “leaning towards” pushing the filly up in trip and running her against the boys in the 120th renewal of the Durban July.

*Current Durban July betting with SportingBet*
9/2 Edict Of Nantes, Al Sahem, 5/1 Black Arthur, 8/1 It’s My Turn, Marinaresco, Ten Gun Salute, 9/1 The Conglomerate, 16/1 Horizon, Mr Winsome, Nightingale, 20/1 Bar


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Crawford and Candice eye memorable victory’s at Greyville on Saturday in 2017 Durban July

Brett Crawford and Candice Bass-Robinson will saddle leading contenders in the Durban July this Saturday, both aiming to claim memorable victories in South Africa’s most famous race.

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