Do It Again will try to make history with a third win on the bounce
We highlight two horses as our top tips
Do It Again wins the 2019 Durban July. (Getty)
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We take a look through the market for this prestigious handicap and provide readers with two 2020 Durban July Betting Tips.
Greyville racecourse will stage the Durban July on Saturday 25th July in 2020. The global Covid-19 pandemic means no spectators will be allowed to attend what is usually a wonderfully social event. Never the less, racing fans have a strong card to enjoy on Durban July day, with the Durban July Handicap playing a starring role.
Topping the current Durban July Odds we find Belgarion, who went into the recent World Sports Betting 1900 on the back of three handicap wins. Justin Snaith’s five-year-old was backed into odds-on before the off, and duly obliged with a bloodless Grade Two victory.
Belgarion enters the Durban July carrying just 53kg and has won well over a trip one furlong shorter than this. However, this will be his first run in Grade One company, and the form of the World Sports Betting 1900 looks modest, at best. Snaith’s charge is in with many horses who’re far more experienced at this level. I think it's well worth taking Belgarion on.
All eyes will be on Do It Again, as Justin Snaith’s star bids to become the first three-time winner of the Durban July. Do It Again won well as a three-year-old in 2018, and narrowly edged out Rainbow Bridge to retain his crown 12 months ago.
Do It Again cannot be discounted. Yet, he hasn’t been in the same sort of form as he was going into the previous two Durban July's, and there’ve been just four winners over the age of four in the last 30 years.
Rainbow Bridge also has that stat to overcome, but he brings much better form to the table than Do It Again this time around. Since that narrow defeat here 12 months ago, Eric Sands’ charge placed third in the Queen’s Plate and second in the SunMet, before winning the Gold Challenge in comfortable fashion.
Like Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge will have to carry a top weight of 60kg, but that shouldn’t stop him mounting a serious challenge.
Vardy scored in the Queen's Plate. He then ran poorly in the SunMet, where he found himself too far back after a slow start and failed to make any inroads. Adam Marcus dropped him back down to seven furlongs and a mile on his next two starts, and Vardy was beaten in both the Drill Hall Stakes and the Golden Challenge. I’m not convinced he really enjoys this sort of trip.
Bunker Hunt showed an excellent turn of foot to beat Vardy in the Drill Hall Stakes, and could be Justin Snaith’s third entrant in this great race. Although he ran well to place fifth as a 25/1 outsider in the SunMet, the way he won over seven furongs suggests Bunker Hunt is much more suited to shorter trips.
The only other runner sitting on a single-figure price is Got The Green Light, who’ll fly the flag for the three-year-olds. Joey Sama’s charge looked on-course to triumph in the SA Derby, only to run out of steam and fall back to third in the strides before the line. Got The Greenlight then bolted up in the Daily News 2000 over course-and-distance, and returns to Greyville with leading claims once again.
There’s then a huge gap in the betting before we reach Mike De Kock’s Soqrat. He carried a short price into the Queen's Plate, Chestnut Stakes and the Champions Challenge, but could only finish ninth, sixth and a four-length second respectively. Those defeats certainly raise question marks, and Soqrat doesn’t look particularly well-treated, considering the results he's achieved in 2020.
Golden Ducat won the Cape Derby back in February, and was backed into favouritism for the Daily News 2000 before the off. Eric Sands’ charge could only finish third to stablemate Got The Greenlight, but was finishing off the race nicely and could be one that each-way bettors look to.
Twist Of Fate, Eyes Wide Open and Miyabi Gold finished third, fourth and fifth in last year’s race. While I can’t see Twist Of Fate or Eyes Wide Open repeating those performances, Miyabi Gold comes into this on the back of a very good Listed victory, and could challenge for the places again.
Capoeira forced his owners to stump up the supplementary fee for the Durban July after winning the Cup Trial at Scottsville. That didn’t look a deep race, though, and he has a little to find on the leading challengers.
Tierra Del Fuego is a five-time winner over seven furlongs and a mile, but has been comfortably beaten on all of his starts over further trips. Shango has some ground to make up on the more-fancied three-year-olds and Padre Pio has two lengths to find on Got The Greenlight.
It would be incredible to see Do It Again land the hat-trick and Rainbow Bridge brings the best form to the table. However, as I mentioned near the beginning, horses older than four have a terrible recent record in the Durban July, and I think it's worth siding with three-year-old GOT THE GREENLIGHT.
Eric Sands’ star was a Grade One winner as a juvenile and went into the SA Derby on the back of an excellent win in the Grade One SA Classic. Callan Murray’s mount travelled powerfully in the Derby, hitting the front three from home, only to get run down in the closing stages.
In the Daily News 2000, Got The Green Light moved to the head of affairs at the three-pole once again. This time, Bernard Fayd'Herbe’s mount didn’t falter, comfortably holding his rivals at arm’s length to seal the third top-level win of his career.
Got The Greenlight is a course-and-distance winner, with plenty of class and he’ll be gaining weight on practically all of his older rivals. The Durban July draw could have been kinder on Erik Sands' charge, but the idea of this low-draw bias doesn't ring true when you look at the results over the past five years, so he's perfectly capable of running his best race from gate 13.
To me, he's the best of my 2020 Durban July betting tips.
For my second selection, I’m going to go with Justin Snaith’s supposed fifth-string, SILVANO'S PRIDE.
Snaith’s mare was a 16/1 shot when she cruised to an excellent victory in the Grade One Woolavington 2000 over ten furlongs here at Greyville last season. Silvano's Pride then suffered three comfortable defeats during the autumn and winter, but returned last month with a comfortable win in Tibouchina Stakes.
Although that Grade Two was only run over a seven-furlong trip, Silvano's Pride has proven form over a mile-and-a-quarter, and I doubt she’ll have trouble seeing out that extra furlong. Snaith’s four-year-old also carries the minimum weight of 52kg into battle, and has the ability to run better than her odds suggest.
I'm going to side with the top three-year-old in this year's race, Got The Greenlight, who scored in the Daily News 2000 over course-and-distance last time out and looks to have plenty of class.
Of the roughies, I think Silvano's Pride - a former Grade One winner who hacked up in her prep-race for the Durban July - could run beyond her current odds.
2020 Durban July Tip 1: Got The Greenlight Straight Win @15/2 at Coral - 15 Units
2020 Durban July Tip 2: Silvano's Pride Each-Way @33/1 at Hollywood bets - 5 Units
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