Belgarion Triumphs In Vodacom Durban July

Trainer Justin Snaith made it July win number five when he sent out the talented Belgarion to win Saturday’s G1 Vodacom Durban July (2200m) at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

Snaith, whose charge Do It Again had won the past two runnings of the July, always looked to have a strong hand in the July this year (delayed by nearly a month due to the COVID19 enforced lockdown), and saddled

A brilliant winner of the G2 World Sports Betting 1900 last time out, and a winner of six of eight races going into the July, Belgarion was well weighted with just 53kgs to carry but had the disadvantage of a wide draw of 17 to overcome.

However, jockey Richard Fourie (who has ridden Belgarion ) rode the four-year-old gelding to perfection, dropping him out from his wide draw and giving the Alec and Gillian Foster owned Belgarion every chance.

Stablemate Silvano’s Pride went out to set a fast pace, and pulled clear of 3yos Padre Pio and Golden Ducat, with the eventual winner racing nearly 20 lengths off the front runner early on.

Silvano’s Pride dropped out at the top of the straight, as G1 winning half-brothers Rainbow Bridge (4-1 tote favourite) and Golden Ducat (30-1) made menacing looking runs down the inside. However, Fourie had other ideas, and he bought Belgarion with a potent run down the outside to score a hard fought win by just over three parts of a length.

Star three-year-old Got The Greenlight (17-2), an impressive winner of the G1 Daily News 2000 last time out, confirmed his class with a brave run in second, with dual July winner Do It Again (who was conceding 6.5kgs to his victorious stablemate Belgarion) putting up the run of the race in third spot.

Belgarion, who has now won his last five races in a row, claimed his first G1 victory in a time of132.4

Belgarion, a 16th G1 winner for his sire, is the second son of 2003 July winner Dynasty to win the Vodacom Durban July, following Legislate in 2014.

Sadly now deceased, Dynasty had a remarkable day on Saturday with his progeny winning all of the G1 Vodacom Durban July, G3 DStv Gold Vase and G3 Campanajo 2200, and his son Futura supplying G2 Golden Horseshoe winner Nourbese. (Dynasty also supplied July fifth place finisher It’s My Turn, with another son of the sire Bunker Hunt finishing 14th).

The gelded four-year-old Belgarion is one of seven winners produced by the Acatenango mare Riva, also dam of G3 Victress Stakes third Qing (by Dynasty), Ibhayi Stakes runner up Cock-a-hoop (by Western Winter) and East Cape Oaks third Searching (by Jay Peg).

Now a winner of seven of only nine starts, Belgarion has now earned R1 553 125.

Images: Candiese Lenferna Photography