Zimbabwe trainers target Durban July

Two of Zimbabwe’s top horse race trainers - Cornie Spies and Alyson Wright, are bidding to take part in Africa’s biggest horse racing event, the Vodacom Durban July, set for the Greyville Racecourse in Durban, South Africa, on July 4.

Spies and Wright have nominated one horse each for the $360 000 event that will be run over 2,200 metre at the home of South African horse racing.

Spies nominated three-year-old gelding All The Bids while Wright has opted for the four-year-old Kochka, which are among the list of the 67 initial nominees for Africa’s richest horse race.

Spies’ All The Bids is one of the 28 three-year-olds which have been nominated, while Kochka is among the 20 four-year-olds which are bidding to be part of the final Durban July assembly.

What is interesting is the fact that Zimbabweans will be able to assess the strength of All The Bids for the Durban July, when the three-year-old races in Zimbabwe’s own Castle Tankard which is set for Borrowdale Racecourse on May 16.

All The Bids is among the 15 horse that will battle for the Castle Tankard after he passed the final acceptances having been initially nominated along with 17 others.

At three years, All The Bids will be the youngest horse in the Tankard, which is 200 metres shorter than the Vodacom Durban July.

However, Spies and Wright will have to wait until June 23 to know whether they will be racing in the Durban July when the final field for the race is unveiled.

Zimbabwe’s Ipi Tombe, then campaigning under the Mike de Kock stable, remains the only foreign horse to have won the Vodacom Durban July since 1970 when the race was modified to its current 2 200 metres having been contested as a 1,600 metre event.

Unfortunately, not even a single Zimbabwean horse has been nominated for the Durban July as fewer and fewer horses of qualify have been coming through in the country. This says the chairman of the Mashonaland Turf Club Brian Black is due to a shortage of breeding space. All The Bids and Kochka are both South African-bred horses.

Jockey S’manga Khumalo, a regular campaigner at Borrowdale Racecouse, won the Durban July aboard Heavy Metal in 2013.

Post published in: Sport

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