Ten Gun Salute burst onto the scene for this year’s Vodacom Durban July with a scintillating performance in the Gr2 Betting World 1900 at Greyville on Friday night. Re-united with Muzi Yeni, Ten Gun raced well off the pace and wide for much of the race but quickened up smartly at the top of the straight. He quickly got the measure of a high class field and won in exceptional fashion. As expected, Serissa set the pace for stable companion Tilbury Fort and it all worked out nicely for them except that Ten Gun Salute left Tilbury Fort for dead at the top of the straight. Tilbury Fort, always handy, stayed on for second while Its My Turn was plugging on gamely in third. Mr Winsome, also ran on well from behind for third while race favourite, Elusive Silva, turned for home ahead of Ten Gun but was blown away.
It was an exceptional training feat by Duncan who was devastated after Ten Guns showing in the Drill Hall Stakes where he finished tailed off after pulling muscles in his back. Lots of physio and hard work in the yard saw him sound on Thursday before the race but Duncan was still in two minds whether to run him in the 1900. But as he said post-race, I trotted him out yesterday morning and he was sound so we took our chances.
Ten Gun was strongly fancied for the Vodacom Durban July last year but although finishing in the pack he was only three lengths off the winner The Conglomerate.
Older and stronger, he showed a superb turn of foot on Friday. At least I know how to ride him now, said Muzi. Last year I had him a little too close. If he gives the same type of finish hes a massive runner in the July.
Good luck to Heinrich and Werner Kuhn, staunch supporters of the yard for a well deserved victory. Roll on July 1.