Vodacom Durban July
July fever is set to hit in mid-April and only be cured the first weekend of July. That would be the Durban July of course, which takes place at the Greyville racecourse. South Africa’s best thoroughbreds will storm down the home straight to the finish of R2 million.
Over 50,000 people are expected to attend this event, said to be the greatest annual horseracing event in Africa. And thousand more will be watching from home on the television. However, the people who attend the race are there for a showcase of racing and fashion.
The rich and famous will be there, to be seen. Just be warned, the fashions are as outrageous as decency permits. And some even push that tab!
The Durban July is South Africa’s equivalent of Britain’s Royal ascot, with superb horse racing, high fashion, elegance, fine cuisine and champagne. It is one meeting of the year where knowledge of horse racing is not a prerequisite to have a fantastic day out.
The Durban July was known for much of its history as the Rothman’s July but most recently sponsored by Vodacom, was first held in July 1897! It is one of the most talked about and attended social gatherings amongst South African racing fans and the premier race for thoroughbreds. The prize money has said to have been increased, and with over R2 million at stake, the race is the Blue Riband of the South African turf. Run at Greyville Racecourse it is the one race everyone has a flutter on!
The race takes place over 2.2km and is the main event on a packed card, the last four races of which are run under floodlights. But let us not forget that the card also includes the 1.6km Garden Province Stakes worth R250,000, the 3km Gold Vase worth R200,000, the 1.4km Golden Horseshoe worth R200,000, the 1.4km Golden Slipper worth R150,000 and two races each worth R100,000. These are the 2.2km Sugarmill and the 1.9km Darley Arabian.
Whichever way you may look at it, this race is a unique event that gets the spine tingling, the heart pounding and the adrenaline flowing just a little quicker than usual. As cliché as it may sound, it is claimed to be the very best event in Africa, with no other event quite comparing. For maximum effect there is nothing better than to be at the heart of the excitement, among the crowds who line the track, who relax in the many restaurant facilities or enjoy the day as guests in the corporate suites and the numerous venues in Greyville’s legendary Marquee Village. Not for the faint hearted, this is an event that will definitely get your heart racing!