Marinaresco was yesterday reported in fine fettle and on course for the Vodacom Durban July despite his below-par effort in last Saturday’s Rising Sun Gold Challenge and being lumbered with top weight in the big one.
The four-year-old started favourite for the Gold Challenge but seemingly failed to pick up and finished with only four of the 15-strong field behind him. Rider Bernard Fayd’Herbe reported to the stipes that he felt something amiss although the consequent veterinary examination failed to reveal anything wrong.
Candice Bass-Robinson said: “There was nothing amiss but I think the pace over a mile was a bit too hard for him and maybe he was racing a little bit too close to it for his liking. He is 100%.”
The stable’s Majorca winner Nightingale, who ran a fine race to take second to Just Sensual in the Tibouchina, has now been confirmed to take her place in the Vodacom Durban July . Anthony Delpech has confirmed the ride.
However Silver Mountain, who disappointed in the Tibouchina, has been retired. She was a runaway winner of last season’s Cape Fillies Guineas before taking fourth in the colts’ equivalent and second in the CTS Million Dollar.
Mrs Robinson said: “She was very good as a three-year-old but she wasn’t quite the same filly at four. Last Saturday she was travelling pretty well and, I don’t know if she hit a bad patch or what, but she was suddenly not travelling and Piere didn’t persevere with her. There was nothing wrong afterwards.”