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Only six of the 49 original entries for Africa’s greatest race, the R4.25-million, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July to be run over 2 200m at Greyville in Durban on Saturday, July 6, failed to stand their ground at the first declaration stage today together with the recent sad loss of SA Derby winner Samurai Warrior.

There are 42 horses still in contention for a run with a further two, recent The Sledgehammer winner Orpheus, trained by Mike and Adam Azzie and Insignis from the Geoff Woodruff yard, in line to be supplemented tomorrow.

While some of the six that have been withdrawn might have found it difficult to make the final 20 runners carded for the race based on their current rating status, and with limited opportunities available to improve their situations, saving the R3 450 non-refundable fee to move forward may not have been seen as worthwhile.

Heading the withdrawals is the five-year-old Captain Al gelding Doosra from the Johan Janse van Vuuren stable that had a 104 merit rating and the Wolf Power victory on which to make a claim while the three-year-old Querari filly Arianos Shadow and the two entries from the Sean Tarry yard, Shenanigans and Silver God, would require considerable improvement to catch the eyes of the July Selection Panel.

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