Durban July – South Africa’s Prestigious Horse Racing Event

On the first Saturday of July since 1897, South Africans have been able to attend the Durban July which has been held at the Greyville Racecourse in Durban. This equestrian derby sees South African Thoroughbred horses race around the 2,800m track in an attempt to be the first one across the finish line.

The annual event has become quite the spectacle, with guests attending from all over the country. Each year, the social event side of the Durban July has had special themes, for example, the 2022 event had a ‘Show Me The Honey’ theme which allowed guests an opportunity to show off their creativity and ingenuity. The themes are unveiled around February/March each year to allow everyone attending to go all out on the big day.

If you aren’t able to catch the event live, don’t worry! DStv’s SuperSport will have live coverage of the event so that you’ll be able to watch all of the thrilling action from the comfort of your own home, though to truly get in the spirit of the Durban July, try to follow the theme just a little.

Meet The Sponsors

Hollywoodbets has been one of the main sponsors of the Durban July since 2022, taking over from Vodacom, and further cementing the race as the most prestigious horse racing event in the country in the minds of gamblers and spectators alike.

In addition to Hollywoodbets, other sponsors and partners of the event include Coca-Cola, DStv, BloodStock South Africa, South Africa KwaZulu-Natal, The Post, Brentford Football Club, South African Airways, Gagasi FM, Heineken, Pongrácz, Cruz New York, Ridgemont, Savanna, Ukhozi, Avis, SplashOut, Gateway, Durban, and Compendium.

If you’re looking to make bets during the event, from somewhere other than Hollywoodbets, you’ll be able to do so from Tab Gold. Tab Gold is a premier South African horseracing and online sports betting platform that has multiple physical outlets as well as an online website that punters will be able to make use of.

With all of these big names behind the Durban July, it’s no wonder that it manages to be such a spectacle each year.

The 2024 Durban July

The next iteration of the famous Durban July is to be held on Saturday, July 6th 2024, keeping the tradition alive of the event being held on the first Saturday of July.

This year will see the return of race legends such as Winchester Mansion – the winner of last year’s Daily News 2000 and HDJ, See It Again – 2023’s runner-up, and Future Swing. Something to keep in mind for 2024 is that there are two fewer horses competing, taking the total from 20 down to 18.

Hollywoodbets has a R20 million Punters Challenge going for this year’s Durban July. Those within the top 100 on the leaderboards will earn their share of R1 million. Finally, R500,000 will be shared by the person/s who tip the most winners on the day. In addition to that, there is an extra R2 million in prizes that can be won between 1 May and 31 July.

True to form, the announcement of the theme of this year’s Durban July was a spectacle in and of itself which ignited conversations around the entire event. What had initially seemed like a brazen act of vandalism, a billboard being the unfortunate victim of a graffiti artist, turned into the official announcement of the theme of this year, ‘Ride the Wave’. The theme of this year evokes feelings of grand forces of nature moving to a natural rhythm that might seem tranquil in the beginning but dive just beneath the surface and you’ll see an untamed spirit that is raring to move, much like the horses in the race itself.

The 2023 Durban July

The second derby sponsored by Hollywoodbets, this Durban July will be held on Saturday the 1st of July, literally welcoming in the new month.

The final field will see 20 finely tuned thoroughbred horses fly across the track. The lineup consists of Bless My Stars, Without Question, Time Flies, Winchester Mansion, Billy Bowlegs, Do It Again, See It Again, Silver Darling, Son Of Raj, Dave The King, Puerto Manzano, Pacaya, Second Base, Safe Passage, Rasallion, Trip Of Fortune, Rain In Holland, Pomp And Power, Nebraas (RR1), and Jimmy Don (RR2).

The estimated betting pool for 2023’s Durban July is around R200 million which is absolutely massive! Bettors will need to be strategic with their bets, they’ll be able to study up on previous wins, find information on the horses running, and determine the odds of their chosen horse making it across the finish line first.

What has the potential to be even bigger than the betting pool are the outfits and the headwear that’ll be on display. The theme for this year is ‘Out of This World’ and we’re expecting some seriously interstellar works of fashion art. The Fashion Experience has always been a strong pillar for the Durban July and is the whole reason why some viewers even tune in at all. There are four categories that’ll be judged this year, those categories include:

  • Most Striking Couple
  • Classic Racewear Male
  • Classic Racewear Female
  • Exceptional Hat/Fascinator 

For those that would like to attend the event in person, tickets can be bought from ticketpro starting at R230 with an additional R170 for venue parking.

List of Previous Durban July Winners

DATE

Winner Jockey
2024 Oriental Charm JP van der Merwe
2023 Winchester Mansion K Matsunyane
2022 Sparkling Water S Khumalo
2021 Kommetdieding G Lerena
2020 Belgarion R Fourie

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