This event is the highlight on the calendars of horseracing fans. 56,000
people are expected at Greyville to witness South Africa’s best
thorough-breds make a run for the home straight to the finish of the R3
million, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.
Guests needn’t make reservations to eat as there are plenty of informal restaurants to choose from. Restaurants, such as Greyville’s popular Al Fresco area, The Paddock, is a firm favourite where people can relax.
However, accommodation for this event is booked out well in advance.
The Durban July Handicap is an annual horse race held on the first Saturday of July at Greyville Racecourse in Durban for South African Thoroughbred horses. This has been an annual occurrence since 1897. The Durban July Handicap turf course is open to horses of all ages. The first distance of about 1600m is now set is at a permanent 2200 meters.
The Durban July is similar to Britain’s Royal Ascot, where models in visible appealing clothes, restaurants serving delicious food, champagne in flute glasses and excited people all form part of this exciting horse racing event.
It is not necessary to know anything about horses to partake in the fun.
The maiden race was kicked off with only 7 horses lined up in the starter boxes. These days this is the best event of the horse racing calendar.
And you don’t even have to know all that much about horse racing to enjoy the festivities. The race was first held in July 1897 with only seven horses and today it is one of the highlights. The Durban July is currently sponsored by Vodacom. With over R1.5 million at stake it is the most talked about and attended horse racing gathering among South African horse racing fans.
The 2.2 km race is the main event, and the last four races of the day are run under floodlights. The race card also includes the 1.4km Golden Slipper, the 3km Gold Vase, the 1.6km Garden Province Stakes and the 1.4km Golden Horseshoe.
In the history of the race there have only been two winning dead heats so far. The first one took place in 1967 when Jollify and Sea Cottage could not be separated as they rushed past the winning post.
In 2008 the crowd saw the two favourites doing the same; Pocket Power and the filly Dancer’s Daughter crossed the finishing line as one.