The highly anticipated Vodacom Durban July took place this weekend (06 July) and it was one to remember!
The outfits, the looks, and most importantly, the races, all came together in a typical Durban July way to create an exciting event that is one for the books.
The day began with the Raceday Fashion Competition. Winners were chosen under different categories, walking away with the title of best dressed of the day. There were morning and evening races, which provided great betting entertainment, whether you were betting at the racecourse or from home, and the night ended off with an after-party with some great South African acts performing, such as AKA.
The theme of this year’s Vodacom Durban July was African Stars, and the stars really did come out to play.
Putting a pause on the fashion, the real reason which had everyone’s hearts racing, was the actual races themselves. Betting big or small, or just watching for the entertainment, the races are always the most exciting part. Here are all the results to catch up on.
DO IT AGAIN is crowned champion of the Vodacom Durban July 2019! Trained by Justin Snaith, Do It Again was ridden by Richard Fourie. Bred by Northfields Stud, Do It Again made some people very happy at the races.
The winner of the first race at Hollywood Bets Greyville this year was Diamond Noir (5). Along with rider Warren Kennedy, and trainer Gavin Van Zyl, Diamond Noir won the Welcome To Hollywoodbets Greyville Stakes.
Official results: 5-13-7-8-3-4
Basilius took the trophey in the second race at the Durban July. Ridden by Muzi Yeni and trained by Tobie Spies, Basilius was bred by Hecan Hill Stud Farm.
Official results: 6-3-11-9-4-2
The third race at the Durban July was won by the impressive Shenanigans. Shenanigan was ridden by Lyle Hewitson and trained by Sean Tarry. Shenanigan was bread by Daytona Stud.
Official results: 9-12-7-5-11-10
Walter Smoothie won the fourth race at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse. Walter Smoothie was bred by Roud Bros, trained by Stuart Pettigrew, and ridden to win by Diego De Gouveia.
Official results: 2-9-1-5-8-14
The fifth race winner at the Vodacom Durban July was Cockney Pride, ridden by Craig Zackey. Cockney Pride was bred by Dr.M Thomson and trained by Toby Spies.
Official results: 2-14-3-1
Race six saw Eden Roc delivering for the favourite punters. Eden Roc was ridden by Lyle Hewitson, trained by Sean Tarry and bred by Varsfontein.
Official result: 5-13-7-10-4-8
Infamous Fox ran off the win the eighth race at the Vodacom Durban July 2019. Ridden by MJ Byleveld and trained by Candice Dawson.
Official results: 1-10-11-5
The tenth race at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse was won by Celtic Sea, who was ridden by Lyle Hewitsons for trainer Sean Tarry. Celtic Sea was bred by Wilgerbosdrift.
Official result: 10-1-2-13
Fittingly, African Warrior took first place in the tenth race at the Vodacom Durban July this year. African Warrior was ridden by Keagen De Melo and trained by Dean Kannemeyer.
Official result: 1-7-3-13
The winner of the eleventh race at the racecourse was Van Halen. Trained by Tobie Spies, Van Halen was ridden by Corne Orffer. Bred by Limpo Retail.
Official results: 1-8-9-7
Priceless Ruler won the twelfth and final race at this year’s installment of the Vodacom Durban July. He was ridden to glory by Sean Veale and trained by Dennis Drier.
Official results: 3-8-1-4
The History of The Vodacom Durban July
The Vodacom Durban July has a rich, successful history.
It is the one event that captures the interest of the nation, and with very good reason. It is internationally considered to be Africa’s Greatest Horse Racing Event.
The Vodacom Durban July has been run without interruption since July 17, 1897, when Campanajo crossed the finish line first in the Durban Turf Club Handicap in Greyville. The race has stood its ground every year since then, not even being interrupted by a soggy track in 1989 or two world wars.
The first meeting was only attended by 3000 people, and nobody could have foreseen that many years later, the event would draw a crowd of over 50 000, every year.
Just as the best outfits would have been worn 100 years ago to the races, women and men dress up to the max, showing off local and international fashion, for media from overseas or from one of our local news stations.
The day is packed with fashion, entertainment, and most of all, the excitement of the races. The finest thoroughbreds from all over the country come together to face their greatest challenge, possibly of their whole career. The race becomes the pinnacle of a career for jockeys, the trainers, the grooms, and the owners.
The Vodacom Durban July has stood the test of time, and will be around to entertain for many, many more years to come.
The official theme for the Vodacom Durban July 2019 was “Stars of Africa”. This was to pay homage to the A list celebrities that always grace the races, as well as the incredible thoroughbreds that take part in the races each year.
The races give everyone and anyone the chance to feel like an absolute star, even if it is just once a year. Everyone, from the groomer to the first-time-attendee, is there to partake in this momentous event, coming together to celebrate South Africa how we do it best.
It is an elegant, chic affair that also offers a showcase opportunity for new, bespoke African designers who need the perfect platform to show off their work and styles. The theme of Stars of Africa allowed designers and attendees to adorn clothes with incredible color and tradition, mixing modern and authentic African print and dress to create some timeless pieces, many of which will go down as some of the best-dressed in the history of the Durban July.
Until Next Year
The races are done and everyone is taking their time to recover from what was surely an amazing night. Now, it is time to start looking forward to the next Vodacom Durban July. As soon as they release the theme, we can get started on our outfits!