Bookies expect bumper takings on the July

2010-07-29 00:00

BOOKMAKERS are expecting bumper takings on Saturday’s R3 million Vodacom Durban July at Greyville Racecourse in Durban, and early tote betting appears to confirm their optimism.

Tote betting on the meeting, which opened on Monday, has already topped the R300 000 mark with three days still to go.

Local bookmaker Colin Fourie, of Fourie’s Sporting Club, said yesterday there seems to be renewed interest in the race this year.

“Bets have been coming in steadily over the last couple of weeks and my book is much bigger than it was at this stage last year,” he said.

Last year punters spent over R90 million on the meeting on the tote alone, with bookmakers’ takings estimated at double that figure. The tote took over R34 million on the race alone.

Although racing turnovers have been under pressure in the subdued economic climate, tote officials are optimistic that turnover will be increase substantially on last year and are hopeful of a 10% increase.

Current tote favourite is Irish Flame, one of a record seven entries from the Mike de Kock yard, and is currently paying R6,30 a win.

Fourie said that since the July gallops held at Greyville last Thursday, a lot of support had come for top weight and previous winner Pocket Power, who put up an eye-catching run.

Pocket Power’s full sister and stable companion in the Mike Bass yard, River Jetez, has also found support. She will be ridden by Jeff Lloyd who will try and break his July jinx. He has finished third six times in the race.

Over 50 000 people are expec­ted to cram into Greyville racecourse on Saturday for the 113th running of Africa’s greatest horse race.

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