DURBAN – Jackson is to be given a long holiday instead of returning to Greyville for the Champions Cup on Saturday next week, according to www.goldcircle.co.za.
Brett Crawford, who had been thinking of supplementing the Vodacom Durban July favourite, said: “The owners and I sat down and discussed it. We decided that, although he has only had three runs in Durban and hasn’t had a hard campaign, we should send him away for a rest.
“He will travel back to Cape Town and continue with his break before we start to get him ready for the summer season. He will have the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on his agenda but obviously the race we will be targeting is the J&B Met. I have always thought that he will be a stronger horse in six months’ time.”
Crawford confirmed that the colt still “seems fine” and that nothing had shown up to account for the way he dropped out of contention early in the straight in the Durban July. “We have been looking to find an excuse and we haven’t been able to come up with one. For some reason he just didn’t shine on the day.
“If he had finished third or fourth you could blame lots of things, including the draw and the weight, but he was too good to finish where he did. He was a dead horse turning for home.”
The handicappers are also not prepared to accept the run and have left his merit rating unchanged on 116, the same as Variety Club and second only to now-retired Gimmethegreenlight (117).
Pomodoro, at 28-1 the longest-priced July winner since Court Day sprang a 33-1 shock in 1970, has been raised two points to 110 and runner-up Smanjemanje has been put up one point to 109.
In other news from July Day, rumours that Ebony Flyer might be retired are premature, according to Snaith Racing. “No decision has yet been made,” stressed Chris Snaith.
Connections feel that the triple Grade 1 winner did not run to her best when beaten 0.50 lengths by Princess Victoria in the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes. Although she was putting in her best work at the end, she had to be ridden from an uncharacteristically long way out.
There has been talk of keeping her in training for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Jonathan Snaith said that the final decision will be made by Team Valor boss Barry Irwin.
All Is Secret, who finished sixth as favourite in the Durban Golden Slipper, will miss the Thekwini Stakes. Trainer Vaughan Marshall excused: “It was mainly the draw in the Golden Slipper. If things go right, the Cape Fillies Guineas would be a long term objective.”