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"He'll be exceptionally competitive on the day" - Durban July 2023 Quotes from connections

leonard-solms
28 Jun 2023
Leonard Solms 28 Jun 2023
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  • Quotes from connections of this year's Durban July runners
  • The 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July takes place on Saturday 1st July
  • Read quotes from Mike de Kock, James Crawford, Candice Bass-Robinson and more
mike de kock trainer
South African trainer Mike de Kock speaking to the press. (Getty)
    Key Quotes
  • See It Again's trainer, Michael Roberts
  • Winchester Mansion's assistant trainer, James Crawford
  • Crawford also touched on Time Flies
  • Safe Passage's trainer, Mike de Kock
  • Craig Zackey on his ride, Dave The King
  • Trip Of Fortune's trainer, Candice Bass-Robinson
  • Muzi Yeni on his ride, Son Of Raaj
  • Rain In Holland's trainer, Sean Tarry
  • Tarry also touched on Bless My Stars
  • Rascallion's trainer, Vaughan Marshall
  • Keagan de Melo on his ride, Puerto Manzano
  • Billy Bowlegs' trainer, Alec Laid
  • Second Base's trainer, Robyn Klaasen

On Saturday, 18 of the finest thoroughbreds will take part in the 2023 renewal of the Durban July.

Justin Snaith will saddle almost a third of the field, as he looks to lift the famous trophy for a sixth time. You can read Snaith's quotes on his five runners here on our website.

Below, you'll find quotes from connections of the other main runners in this year's Durban July.

*All quotes attributed to GoldCircleRacing YouTube*

See It Again's trainer, Michael Roberts


Obviously the weight is a question mark. I'd have loved to have seen him with around 55kg in the race, but he's on the up. I believe he's the best three-year-old in the country over this distance and he probably deserves his weight (56.5kg).

To win it as a jockey in my career was special, but to train a winner would be even more special because this is our Epsom Derby, or the Melbourne Cup in Australia. It's a difficult race. The jockeys are excited, they're hyped up. Luck is going to be the most important thing for me in the run. 

Winchester Mansion's assistant trainer, James Crawford


This horse is absolutely fine. His last two starts were phenomenal, especially his first start after coming back from gelding. He's a horse that actually on the up. We could have had a better prep going into the race. He's handled both of his starts in Durban well and he's come on from each one, so we're very happy with him.

I'm sure with his last race and the manner in which he won, it's a race that will have given him a ton of confidence. This is a strong renewal of the July and nothing will be given to us, but from a good draw with a nice galloping weight on his back, I think this is a very, very strong runner and he'll be exceptionally competitive on the day.

Crawford also touched on Time Flies


The filly's in fine, fine fettle. She's a filly that's really on the up and she's going very, very well at home. She just keeps improving and her confidence is building with each start. 

She hasn't run outside of the money yet and she looks like a promising sort. She did get quite a big rating increase after her last start. I believe is was 21 pounds, which is quite high for any horse, but she's proven that she can be in the shake up with the big horses. If things go her way in the race, I definitely think she could be in the shake-up and possibly in the first four.

Safe Passage's trainer, Mike de Kock


He's come through his run (in the Gold Challenge) very, very well. He's sounder than I've ever seen him. He's in a very good space himself. At the weights and the ratings, he's definitely a runner. 

I think all of the three-year-olds are under pressure at the weights, definitely. For me, the Cape three-year-olds stand out.

Craig Zackey on his ride, Dave The King


He's a horse that's maturing after each run. He's starting to get a good head on him. He's starting to settle down and he's just going in the right direction. I'm really happy with him.

Trip Of Fortune's trainer, Candice Bass-Robinson


He's been the most consistent horse this season. He's stepped up to the plate every time he's been asked. It was a good run from him last time out in the Gold Challenge, having to race a bit handier than what he'd normally like to do. 

There's a question mark over this distance, he hasn't been this trip before and he has top weight. He's not drawn well, we're drawn 16 but he will be dropping in anyway. He's very well and we're hopeful that he will run into some money if he does soo out the trip.

Muzi Yeni on his ride, Son Of Raaj


The way he won the Derby he must have a massive chance. He's got a good weight, I'm very well drawn and he's one of the best stayers. If the tempo is hot, it will even suit him better. I'm bullish about my chances and hoping for a massive run.

s'manga khumalo
S'manga "Bling" Khumalo will attempt to win his second straight Durban July when he rides Rain In Holland. (Getty)

Rain In Holland's trainer, Sean Tarry


She's taken her last run really well. I thought it was a win full of merit, as she quickened up nicely in a slowly run race. She's going well at home and had a good gallop in between. I'm very happy with her.

56.5kg is a biggish weight for a filly and she's drawn 17, but 17 can keep you out of the trouble. I'm a little reluctant with the weight, but everything else is perfect and I'm hoping for a big run.

Tarry also touched on Bless My Stars


She's a golden ticket winner, winning the Fillies' Classic. A Group One winner, that's fantastic, carrying 52kg. Obviously this is a big ask. She's never taken on this caliber of company, but she's had a really good prep, she's got a half-decent draw and off that weight, who knows.

Rascallion's trainer, Vaughan Marshall


I was very happy with his work out. He did it comfortably and he did it in a pretty good time. Draw 15 is not ideal, but it's one of those things that you've got to live with and we're going to need a little bit of luck I'm sure. 

Keagan de Melo on his ride, Puerto Manzano


For a dual-Group One winner I think he's very well weighted. He's in the form of his life and horses coming in off Group wins have got a lot of confidence. 

The verdict is still out on whether he likes Greyville, but he's a better horse now, a furnished horse now. He's doing exceptionally well. He's in good form and we can only hope he brings his form to July day.

Billy Bowlegs' trainer, Alec Laid


We haven't had a runner in the Durban July for a while, but I think we've got more than just a runner, I think we've got a horse with a chance. His prep has gone good. Sean Veale (jockey) has made the effort to come up three times to work him and get to know him better.

He's had a fairly big gap between runs, but we've planned it this way. He's had a fairly hard season up to a point and we couldn't keep him at peak. He's had a bit of a gap and know he's peaking again. Coming good at the right time.

Second Base's trainer, Robyn Klaasen


We're really excited. I believe the horse will give a good account of himself on the day. I'd encourage the public to judge him on his most recent run. He took well to his change of stable, change of environment and he's a different horse to what we've seen before.

Verdict

Durban July 2023 Runners:

1: See It Again 2023 Durban July @5/2 at Hollywood bets - 10 Units
2: Winchester Mansion 2023 Durban July @9/2 at Hollywood bets - 10 Units
3: Son Of Raaj 2023 Durban July @14/1 at Sportingbet - 10 Units
See It Again
2023 Durban July
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Winchester Mansion
2023 Durban July
@9/2 - 10 Units
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Son Of Raaj
2023 Durban July
@14/1 - 10 Units
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