Durban - A capacity crowd, crisp winter weather, a track full of stars along with celebrities and socialites sharing the 123rd running of the Durban July at Greyville on Saturday, July 6 will ensure the “Stars of Africa” align for Africa’s greatest horseracing event.
Racing aficionados are eagerly anticipating what is being seen as one of the most competitive and unpredictable Durban Julys in many years, with any one of the 18 runners in the R4.25 million iconic race capable of shading race favourites Hawwaam and last year’s champion Do It Again.
Despite the economic downturn, the attraction of the year’s premier social and sporting occasion seems to have been unaffected as tens of thousands of visitors from every corner of the country converge on Durban for the weekend of festivities.
With another massive contingent of Gauteng visitors packing into the regions premium hotels, restaurants, clubs and taverns, the economic churn experienced by the regional economy is expected to reach close to R300 million.
The infield Marquee Village and the dozens of plush suites in the grandstand will be a blaze of colour as décor specialists strive to out-do each other decorating each venue to the raceday theme “Stars of Africa”.
That theme has also governed the vibrant pre-raceday fashion programme and will ensure that fashioniatas that thrive on the limelight of the Durban July will not lack inspiration.
The new hospitality hub at The Lakes Lifestyle Village that was introduced last year to popular acclaim will be back, bigger and better, with pop-up restaurants, designer bars and a large number of totes to make betting on the day easier.
The Action Stage will see the announcement of the winner of the Durban July Young Designer Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair, as well as the eagerly anticipated showing of the Invited Designer and Amazing Africa Collections.
From 09:30 fashion fanatics eager to be noticed and taken into consideration for the four raceday fashion competitions - Classic Racewear for Men and Women, Best Dressed Couple and the Exceptional Raceday Hat or Fascinator - will need to catch the eye of the judges in the Parade Ring.
Each of the 12 races on the card will be followed by fashion and entertainment on the Action Stage, culminating in well-known DJs presented by MC ProVerb, and chart-topper Prince Kaybee and AKA performing live as evening settles over the racecourse.
The build-up to the main feature race always creates an electric atmosphere. Skydivers from the SA Legion will drop into the main straight at Greyville, and before the running of the Durban July, the assembled racegoers will unite for the singing of the national anthem.
It is a day when problems are forgotten and fun-loving South Africans from all walks of life share in this iconic annual sporting and social occasion to enjoy seeing the “Stars Of Africa” shine.
2019 PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
11:25 - RACE 1 WELCOME TO Hollywoodbets GREYVILLE FM 88 HANDICAP (F & M) - POLYTRACK
12:05 - RACE 2 GATEWAY THEATRE OF SHOPPING PINNACLE STAKES - POLYTRACK
12:50 - RACE 3 BETTING WORLD 2200 (Grade 3) – 2 200m – R500 000
13:35 - RACE 4 DStv GOLD VASE (Grade 3) – 3 000m – R500 000
14:25 - RACE 5 ZULU KINGDOM EXPLORER GOLDEN SLIPPER (Grade 2) – 1 400m – R600 000
14:30 - DStv Live Broadcast begins
15:10 - RACE 6 DURBAN GOLDEN HORSESHOE (Grade 2) – 1 400m – R600 000
16:20 - RACE 7 THE VODACOM DURBAN JULY (Grade 1) – 2 200m – R4 250 000
17:30 - RACE 8 ENGEN PERFORMANCE STAKES – TURF (Listed) – 1 600m – R150 000
18:10 - RACE 9 JONSSON WORKWEAR Garden Province Stakes (Grade 1) – 1 600m – R1 000 000
18:50 - RACE 10 KZN YEARLING SALE MILLION – 1 300m – R1 000 000
19:30 - RACE 11 COMPENDIUM INSURANCE BROKERS eTHEKWINI SPRINT (3-year-olds) - POLYTRACK
20:10 - RACE 12 Hollywoodbets GREYVILLE BRIGHT FUTURE MR 86 HANDICAP - POLYTRACK
More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za