Impressive Kommetdieding claims victory at Vodacom Durban July
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The Harold Crawford and Michelle Rix-trained-Kommetdieding ridden by Gavin Lerena became the first small yard winner of South Africa's biggest race, the Vodacom Durban July for 36 years, the last to have achieved it being Pat Antelme in 1985 with Gondolier.
It was a victory for transformation as Ashwin Reynolds became the first person from a previously disadvantaged group to own a July winner and the horse himself has now entrenched himself in rags-to-riches folklore.
The three-year-old Elusive Fort colt became the fourth horse this century to win from the widest draw of all.
The race was a triumph for Klawervlei Stud as they bred both Kommetdieding and the Vaughan Marshall-trained Linebacker, who was beaten just half-a-length.
The race favourite, the Joey Soma-trained Got The Greenlight, finished third.
The Justin Snaith-trained Do It Again, chasing a record-breaking third victory in this race, added to his phenomenal July record which now reads first, first, third and a very unlucky fourth.
The all important fifth place was filled by the Marshall-trained Rascallion.
The race was run at a fair pace set as expected by Crown Towers.
Lerena attempted to slot his horse in from the wide draw and found cover behind Do It Again down the back straight. However, he was shuffled outward as they began rounding the Drill Hall. He then spotted Sovereign Spirit caught similarly wide further ahead and gradually made up the ground on this horse and was sitting in behind him as they turned for home.
Meanwhile his chief three-year-old rival Linebacker had quickly found the rail from draw seven in a position from which he could strike.
The favourite Got The Greenlight was content to sit two-wide with cover near the back.
Linebacker was held up at a crucial stage coming into the straight by Running Brave and Grant van Niekerk thus had to switch him outward into traffic. Meanwhile Kommetdieding had got the slingshot affect as he swung off the heels of Sovereign Spirit.
The relative difference in momentum between the pair as they entered the straight likely made the difference between victory and defeat.
When Linebacker found space he had to make up a length on Kommetdieding and the effort to make up this leeway told.
Kometdieding was still full of running and kept the game runner up at bay.
Got The Greenlight ran on strongly on the outside but could not fetch the winner and was beaten 0,70 lengths.
However. the unluckiest horse was without doubt Do It Again.
Lerena kept him trapped behind Sovereign Spirit at the top of the straight and then when a gap did open he was promptly sandwiched between his stablemates Crown Towers and Sovereign Spirit.
He eventually found space and ran on to be beaten just 1,75 lengths.
Rascallion stayed on late to be beaten just 2,25 lengths.
Topweight Rainbow Bridge sat behind Linebacker in the running and went for a rails run but was never making serious inroads and finished 8th, beaten 5,15 lengths.
It was a first July win for twice SA Champion Jockey Lerena and he deserved it as he had to slim 4kg to make the weight of 53kg.
Harold Crawford found Kommetdieding at the Klawervlei Stud farm sale in 2019.
His dam was a three-parts sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner Captain America but had not produced much and Crawford's first impression of Kommetdieding was "a fuzzy little horse."
Crawford phoned Reynolds and told him he had found a nice and was he interested in buying him and he replied, "Ok but not for more than R80,000."
Crawford then managed to secure him for R55,000.
Reynolds named the horse and explained, "It is Afrikaans slang among the Cape Flats coloured community and it means 'Bring it on' as in 'I'm not scared, bring it on.'"
Reynolds was eight-years-old when his father died and he started work at the age of 18 to support the whole family.
He worked for two years in the UK on building sites before starting his own company.
Reynolds dedicated the fairytale victory to JM Cola, who was a part-owner of an earlier winner on the day Bard Of Avon. Cola passed away on Friday night.