Majmu has class to win July
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The crack 3-year-old filly Majmu, trained by the maestro, Mike de Kock, has the credentials to win the prestigious Vodacom Durban July at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday.
The grey thoroughbred, who will jump from pole position in Africa’s greatest horse race and be guided along the 2 200m trip by the highly talented jockey Anthony Delpech, oozes class.
She has won six of her last eight runs and finished fourth and second in the other two races. Her gutsy second to Wylie Hall, another July contender, last time over 2 000m shows that the July is right down her alley.
Assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen said Majmu was in tiptop shape and ready to cement her status as a truly magnificent thoroughbred.
De Kock is bidding for his fifth July winner. He won the big race with Ipi Tombe (2002), Grey’s Inn (2004), Bold Silvano (2010) and Igugu (2011).
Poised to spoil the party for Majmu’s connections are Legal Eagle and French Navy from the powerful Sean Tarry yard.
Tarry, who won the 2012 and 2013 Julys with Pomodoro and Heavy Metal respectively, said preparations of his July runners had gone to plan.
He said he felt that Legal Eagle, owned by South African billionaire Markus Jooste, and French Navy, owned by one of the country’s top owners, Chris van Niekerk, were big runners.
Legal Eagle will be ridden by Anton Marcus, who is on a strict diet to make the 54kg set for the ruling July favourite. The only factor against this highly-fancied thoroughbred is that he has not raced at Greyville before. He has waltzed away from his rivals in his last three runs.
In the first week of April over 2 000m, Legal Eagle was in ninth position at the 800m mark, in third place at the 400m mark, and by the time they crossed the line, had skipped over two lengths clear of second-placed Stonehenge.
Three weeks later, in a 2 450m race, he was lying in 11th place – some 13 lengths behind the leader. At the 400m mark it was a different story, when Legal Eagle closed the lead to just three lengths, and when the race was over he cruised to a three-length victory over Deputy Jud, another July runner.
He was impressive again in the Jubilee Handicap over 1 800m earlier this month. He was in seventh position at the 800m mark, just over six lengths behind the leader, in sixth place at the 400m mark, just over four lengths behind the leader, and demolished his rivals by just over four lengths.
His sire, Grey’s Inn, won the July 11 years ago and you can expect another flying finish from Legal Eagle on Saturday.
French Navy, to be ridden by Raymond Danielson, will jump from barrier 10, and also has an undeniable chance. The 3-year-old gelding came from the clouds to win the Daily News 2000. He was in 13th place at the 800m mark, nine lengths behind the leader, improved to ninth place at the 400m mark and reduced the lead to five lengths, then finished like an express train to win by a length from Ertijaal.
Another plus for French Navy is his consistent form. Apart from finishing fourth to Ertijaal over 1 800m, French Navy has not been out of the first three in eight previous starts. Tarry’s other runners are outsiders Halve The Deficit, Gold Onyx and Tamaanee.
Winning the July will be a fantastic way to end the racing career of Wylie Hall, who in last year’s July controversially lost the race in the boardroom after an objection was lodged on behalf of the winner, Legislate, for interference in the closing stages of the race.
Trained by Weiho Marwing and owned by Michael Leaf, the general consensus is that Wylie Hall deserves to win the July. Having won his last two races in style over 2 000m, Wylie Hall can upstage Majmu, Legal Eagle and French Navy on Saturday.