Hollywoodbets Durban July Media
Embargo : None
Written By: Gold Circle
Winchester Mansion made to fight for
maiden Durban July title
Durban - In a race of firsts, Kabelo Matsunyane
scored the biggest win of his career as
Winchester Mansion got the better of hometown
favourite See It Again in a tight finish to
Saturday’s Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July at
The 30 000 spectators were treated to a
thrilling spectacle as two horses and two
jockeys gave it their all.
The two joined in combat 300m out as they pulled
clear of the opposition and it was a duel to the
line. Piere Strydom, bidding for his fifth win
in the race before his expected retirement, had
to switch See It Again off the heels of a tiring
Without Question but looked to just hold the
upper hand on his challenger as Michael
Roberts’s runner See It Again stuck resolutely
to his guns. But Winchester Mansion gained
inch-by-inch and it was a nod of the heads at
the line with Winchester Mansion prevailing by a
It was Matsunyane’s first Gr1 victory of his
career, it was also a first for trainer Brett
Crawford and his son James and owner and breeder
Gaynor Rupert of Drakenstein stud who have had a
fabulous feature race season.
It was something of a fairytale win for
Winchester Mansion who injured his neck in a
paddock accident as a youngster. Named after an
iconic old hotel in Sea Point in Cape Town, his
neck injury delayed the start to his racing
career, but he showed his potential by winning
the Gr3 Winter Derby at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth
before losing his way a little.
A decision was taken to geld him and the
transformation was instant as he was an unlucky
second in the WSB Greyville 1900 before
cementing his place in the July with a smashing
victory in the Gr3 Cup Trial.
Crawford was almost speechless but was full of
praise for his jockey.
“When you’ve got a guy like Strydom on your
inside you don’t expect the other jock to get
past him so full credit to that guy back there
he’s had a phenomenal season, he rode a great
race and he’s set himself a great future ahead.”
For Roberts it was heartbreak, so near but so
far. Roberts and Strydom’s relationship goes
back to their riding days where both were fierce
competitors. Strydom gave See It Again the
perfect ride but was just not able to give his
older rival 3.5kg.
Something of a surprise package was the filly
Bless My Stars who ran on gamely for third while
the old man of the race and two-time winner Do
It Again ran his usual courageous race to finish
fourth and placed in all six July’s that he
In the Gr1 Ridgemont Garden Province stakes, the
expected duel between Princess Cala and Desert
Miracle didn’t quite materialize although they
did finish one-two.
The race was run at a pedestrian pace, which
played into the hands of Princess Calla who has
few peers when it comes to sprinting. Visiting
France champion jockey Christophe Soumillon had
Princess Calla in his sights for all of the race
but when it came to the business end, Richard
Fourie had skipped on the favourite and she won
Earlier in the day, Sandringham Summit carved
his way through traffic from the back of the
field to score a well deserved win in the Gr2
Golden Horseshoe for Turffontein-based trainer
David Nieuwenhuizen and jockey Calvin Habib.
“Nothing went his way, he turned his head as the
gates opened and then the field came back at me
and I found myself last,” said Habib, but added,
“he’s a classy horse.”
With seemingly nowhere to go as favourite
Gimmeanotherchance set sail for home, his
chances of winning looked forlorn. However,
Habib eased his mount through a gap and his
acceleration was almost instant as he started to
reel in the opposition. With 200m to run
Gimmeanotherchance was flat to the boards as
Habib had to make a further switch but such was
his momentum, he sailed past the favourite to
win full of running.
Mrs Geriatrix turned in one of the performances
of the day as she bolted clear of a high-class
field in the Gr2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer. Little
bigger than a pony, she has a huge stride, and
once Richard Fourie asked the question at the
top of the straight, she was not for the
catching as Soumillon chased in vain on Rascova
with Egyptian Mau in third.
Sean Tarry’s filly is now unbeaten in five
starts but the trainer was in two minds as to
whether she would take her place in the Gr1
Thekwini Stakes on Gold Cup day.
“There is no doubt that she will see out a mile,
but she’s had a hard season and it may be a race
too far. As you can see, she was a little
overwhelmed,” he said pointing out that Fourie
had dismounted at the pull-up and the filly was
reluctant to be led into the winner’s enclosure.
The lightly weighted Crimson King made short
work of the opposition in Gr3 SplashOut 2200.
Often referred to as the July consolation race
Kabelo Matsunyane made a beeline for the outside
rail and quickly went clear of the pack with
Soumillon getting Aragosta up for second with
Lord William chasing up the inside rail for
It was the first of a quick double for Tarry
with Mrs Geriatrix following up.
If Crimson King was an easy winner, the Sean
Tarry-trained Future Pearl won with even more
authority as he out-sprinted the field in the
Gr3 Dstv Gold Vase over 3000m.
The race was run at a muddling pace that only
really quickened up the hill at the 600m mark. A
wall of runners hit the home straight but Future
Pearl and Fight Song shot out of the pack
crossing the subway.
Fight Song hung on grimly but Future Pearl
finally got the better of him and sped off to a
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The theme "Out Of This
for the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Kabelo Matsunyane (top),
pictured here with winning groom Sitembele Londile, and trainer Brett
Crawford wrote their names in the Hollywoodbets Durban July history
books on Saturday when they both claimed maiden victories in front of a
packed Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse.
In what was a race to the
line, Winchester Mansion (right), ridden by Kabelo Matsunyane, edged out
pre-race favourite See it Again (left) to claim his first Hollywoodbets Durban July
title at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday.
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