The Durban July- SA’s Biggest Horse Race

The biggest horse race held in South Africa is the Durban July.  This is a thoroughbred horse race, which is held on the first Saturday of July every year.  The first Durban July was held in 1897 and is held at the Greyville Racecourse in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal.

The race was initially raced over 1 mile and this was changed a few times until 1970 when it was changed to 2200 meters which is what it currently is today.

Not Just About the Racing

This year the Vodacom Durban July will be held on Saturday, 7 July 2018 at Greyville offering a huge purse of R4.25 million.  The Vodacom Durban July is not only about the horseracing, which is of course the main attraction, but fashion is also a major theme.

Each year the Durban July has a different theme and visitors will dress accordingly.  The theme for 2018 is “It is Time.”  On race day there are judges walking around looking out for original, creative and eye catching fashion, which embody the theme.

There are prizes for the most striking couple, classic race wear for male and female and the most exceptional hat or fascinator.  Designers are also invited to show off their designs and new designers are also given a platform to showcase what they have done.

Betting on the Durban July

The main race is the most popular event of the day, but there are also other races throughout the day.  The field for the Durban July was announced on 26 June 2018 and fans can now go ahead and place their bets.  The Durban July attracts over 55 000 spectators with an excess of R200 million in bets are placed.

In order to enjoy horse racing betting on this event you will need to be 18 years or older.  The form of the horse will be on the race card and this information will be helpful when placing a bet.  Many people will go with the lucky number or they may choose a name they like, but it is also advisable to study the horse before placing a bet.  Once a decision has been made on which horse to bet, the next step is to decide what type of bet to place.

There are many types of bets, with the simplest being the win bet.  This bet will only pay out if you are able to choose the winner.  The place bet may be a safer option and this will pay out for predicting a horse to come first or second, but there must be six or seven horses or guessing first, second or third place if there are between eight and 15 horses running.

If there are more than 16 horses a pay out for predicting fourth place will also pay out.  The option to bet on multiple horses is known as a swinger.  There will be a pay out for predicting if two horses will come first and second, first and third as well as second and third.