South Africa: Crowning moment for Ramsden in Durban July

General view at Greyville Racecourse

Australian-bred The Conglomerate scored at Greyville on Saturday

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Michael Clower 8:00PM 2 JUL 2016 

Report: South Africa, Saturday

Greyville: Vodacom Durban July (Grade 1 Hcap) 1m 3f, turf, 3yo+

JOEY RAMSDEN, stepson of former trainer Linda Ramsden and half-brother of Emma Spencer, had the greatest moment of his near 20-year training career when The Conglomerate (Piere Strydom) sprang a 20-1 surprise in South Africa’s most famous race.

Strydom, winning his fourth July, made light of his outside draw and soon had his mount handily placed. He struck for home a furlong and a half out and held the fast-finishing Marinaresco by a quarter of a length.


The six-time champion said: “He jumped beautifully, the pace was spot on for me and it was just a matter of kicking at the top of the straight – and that he did.”

A delighted Ramsden said: “This is the best day of my life. The July is the race I have always wanted to win but when I cracked the outside draw I thought things were going to be sticky. However Piere gave the horse the most magic ride.”

Marinaresco, second last turning for home, was the final crack at the great race for Leicester-born Mike Bass who retires at the end of the month and the gelding was a most unlucky loser.

Rider Grant van Niekerk said: “I was unlucky with my wide draw. I was always going to drop him in and turning for home he put his ears flat back and took off but the winner had that slight advantage.”

Dougie Whyte, 13-time Hong Kong champion, arrived in plenty of time to partner Black Arthur and finished seventh, saying: “I would have been third but for Mac De Lago (third) leaning on me and taking me to the outside rail.”

Also on Saturday

Greyville: Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ f/m

Inara (Mike Bass/Grant van Niekerk) won her fifth Grade 1 when leading half a furlong out and beating Olma by half a length. She may well now be retired to the paddocks although racing manager Kevin Somerville insisted that no decision has yet been taken.

He said: “We will talk to Gaynor Rupert(her owner-breeder) and then decide but she is an incredible filly.”

Inara was preferred in the market by her stable companion the Cape Fillies Guineas winner Silver Mountain who disappointed and managed only seventh.

Candice Robinson, who takes over from her father at the end of the month, said: “She has been a bit disappointing in Durban but then Inara was like that last season.”

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