Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Divine Odyssey (15-2) caught the favourite Marshall Foch, who set the pace, and Full Mast close to home to win Sunday’s Gr3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein by a length.
This was another Graded 1-2 for horses bought at CTS Sales.
Jockey Raymond Danielson intentionally kept Divine Odyssey off the fence as per his instructions from the trainer. “He’s a bit of a quirky horse,” explained Janse van Vuuren. “He gets on with certain riders, he either likes you or he doesn’t. Thank goodness he gets on with Raymond.
“He also hates being on the fence so I told Raymond sit one off the fence and try and go for a run down the middle.”
“The horse was a bit of a hard ride towards the end but he doesn’t give up which is nice,” said Danielson. “I think that’s what won him the race.”
The Jubilee, The Cup Trial and the WSB 1900 are among races regarded as “preferred” qualifying contests (after Gr1 races) taken into account when the Vodacom Durban July panel decides who will make up the final field.
Divine Odyssey ran off a 114 rating and will probably be raised a point or two, but as things stand he has a definite chance of making the final line-up.
The five-year-old ran a 2,80 length eighth in last year’s July and is listed among the five horses just outside of the top 20 on the current July log.
Divine Odyssey is by Oratorio from Divine Right, by Dynasty, bred by Laurence Wernars and racing for Wernars and partners Colin Gordon, Robbie Binnie and Janse Van Vuuren Racing. He was R500,000 buy from the Cape Yearling Sale in 2016, and with six wins his earnings are now approaching R1,25-million.