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"He is probably not at his best over 2000m" - Charles Dickens to miss the 2023 Durban July

31 Mar 2023
Jon Vine 31 Mar 2023
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  • Racing news ahead of the 2023 Durban July
  • Charles Dickens had topped the ante-post betting for this year's July
  • Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson told the press this month that he would not be running at Greyville
Charles Dickens to miss the Durban July
South African racing. (Getty)

Since it opened, the betting for the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July had been dominated by one horse, Charles Dickens.

Candice Bass-Robinson's star won all six of his starts during 2022, a run that culminated in an easy victory over Cousin Casey in the Cape Guineas back in December. Charles Dickens has since finished second in two Grade One races, losing out narrowly to Al Muthana in the King's Plate, before suffering another surprise defeat in the Cape Derby.

Despite losing at odds of 2/11 in the Derby, bookmakers still expected Charles Dickens to step up a further furlong in trip and enter the Hollywoodbets Durban July. However, Bass-Robinson quashed those plans by stating her stable star would not be entered into South Africa's most famous horse race.

"I don’t think it is that he doesn’t stay, he still ran a very good race." Bass-Robinson told Gold Circle. "He is probably not at his best over 2000m at this stage."

Despite his omission from the Durban July, Charles Dickens will spend his summer in KZN. Bass-Robinson has mapped out a path toward the Champions Cup, which would see her Trippi colt take in both the Drill Hall Stakes and the Grade One Gold Challenge.

Meanwhile, Cape Guineas runner-up, Cousin Casey has taken Charles Dickens spot at the head of the Durban July betting. You can see the latest odds for the 2023 Durban July here on our website.

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