The outstanding 4yo miler Legislate made it four Group wins from four starts at Greyville when he came out top of the pops in the much publicised ‘Duel Of The Dynasty’s’. A scintillating display of power galloping won the day in the R1 million Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, and the 2014 July winner may have also thrown his connections a curved ball, as he signalled that he looks primed to defend his title.

Justin Snaith’s brave move to pit his two best horses against each other in this prestigious Vodacom Durban July stepping stone paid handsome dividends – both in equine performance and in public relations terms.

This was achieved despite two Gauteng challengers in the shape of Sean Tarry’s Willow Magic, and the longshot Bezanova, penning an unlikely twist into the fairytale, by punctuating the ultimate Snaith dream of a 1-2 finish.

In the end, it was a happy ending with Legislate putting his Drill Hall start nightmare behind him and bouncing back after his three month break. In his support role, Futura ran on strongly late in the race to run fourth – and with his main target being the Vodacom Durban July, it was a low-key pleasing enough prep run for the current big race log leader.

With Drill Hall Stakes winner Ice Machine being scratched, the field was reduced to eleven and the race panned out beautifully for the SA champion Snaith team.

Both of their gallopers were drawn wide and jockey Richard Fourie pulled the trigger early on Legislate by jumping smartly and crossing to lead his field, as Sean Cormack, with fewer options, dropped Futura out

Legislate was tracked by Willow Magic and No Worries as his giant stride carried him around the turn and up the hill, with Sean Cormack and Futura relaxed at the rear.

Into the home run, Fourie squeezed Legislate, who stretched a half length clear, as Strydom continued to patrol and maintained him in his sniper sights.

Justin Snaith – July prospects brighten

Justin Snaith – July prospects brighten

At the 300m marker, Legislate had his field at full stretch as Willow Magic continued to plug on, while Cormack brought Futura from wide out at the top of the straight.

While Willow Magic never stopped chasing, Fourie glanced up at the big screen and had time to look around as Legislate drew off to win by 0,75 lengths in a time of 96,11 secs.

Willow Magic would have had Sean Tarry smiling after an effort that was more in keeping with his ability, as he had tracked the champion all the way.

Gavin Lerena switched Bezanova in from midfield and the flashy son of Bezrin ran on well to keep Futura satisfied with fourth.

Last year’s winner King Of Pain never got a shout in and finished eighth and 4,90 lengths off the winner.

July hopefuls No Worries (11th on VDJ Log) and Halve The Deficit (14th on VDJ Log) were not disgraced, and finished ninth (5,40 lengths off) and sixth (2,15 lengths off), respectively.

Richard Fourie and Legislate after the July win last year

Richard Fourie and Legislate after the July win last year

The cucumber cool Richard Fourie, downplayed his own role in Legislate’s cracking win, and confirmed that he really had only two options from the wide draw.

“He got such a good break today – and I’ve aways wanted to have him in front. He just also has such a high cruising speed – and whoever was behind me was struggling to stay with us. At the top of the straight I gave him a little squeeze.This horse is the highlight of my career. And I just want to say that giving up on him has never been an option,” he said in an obvious reference to the option of jumping ship to ride Futura.

Trainer Justin Snaith said that his charge was doing it easily out front and was thrilled with his performance.

“He has got such a big action – they were scrubbing away behind him. Over a mile he is absolutely deadly. We will make a decision on Monday regarding the July – he is still a doubtful starter,” he confirmed.

A magnificent specimen, the future stallion prospect Legislate cost Newbury Racing’s Dennis Evans just R100 000 on the National Yearling Sale.

Bred by Cheveley Stud, he is out of the four time winning Restructure mare, Champers. She was no great shakes and only won up to 1200m.

Legislate, races in the Drakenstein silks in a partnership that includes Jack Mitchell and his original purchaser.

Nancy Mitchell and Dennis Evans lead Legislate in, while Jack Mitchell looks on

Nancy Mitchell and Dennis Evans lead Legislate in, while Jack Mitchell looks on

He has now won 7 of his 13 starts with 4 places and took his stake earnings to a super healthy R5 378 600.

There are big decisions to be made with the future of this valuable horse.

The temptation to go for the July double must be foremost in the minds of his connections. But why take on Futura at his peak and at his own game?

We have an interesting few weeks ahead of us.