Durban July Horse Racing

As the Durban July is rapidly approaching, a betting frenzy is set to grab a hold of South Africans as 50,000 people cram into the Greyville racecourse and millions watch the televised races on the 7th of July.

Touted as Africa’s greatest horse racing event, the Vodacom Durban July continues to be one of the top drawcards for Sunbet punters. This prestigious event habitually trumps the number of bets placed on one day events including last year’s Rugby World Cup final.

The Durban July’s impressive stature can be ascribed to a number of important factors:

The event’s inception took place in 1897 making it an astounding 121 years old.

The age of the event goes hand in hand with the betting tradition that sees the first Saturday of July becoming a big betting day for everybody looking to place a bet on the ponies, whether it’s a large stake or simply an annual flutter.

Furthermore, the tradition behind the Durban July makes it an incredibly competitive event for jockeys, breeders and owners alike, especially when you consider the main race’s combined purse of R4,25 million.

To add to the excitement of the Durban July format, at least a third of the day’s races are set to be run on Polytrack, a wax-coated synthetic surface that promotes faster and more controlled running.

It’s a truly pioneering move that the organisers have taken the reins by introducing this particular feature in African racing. It’s envisioned that this will become a fundamental feature in the foreseeable future of large horse racing events.

Last but certainly not least is the fashion aspect of the event. The raceday wouldn’t be the same without the flair of the invited designers and the socialites vying to outdo each other with their truly outrageous outfits.

How to pick your winner:

Before you make that all important wager on your horse of choice, take into consideration that you’re placing money on a sentient being, a very temperamental one at that. Even the most well laid plans can come undone if the combination of horse and jockey aren’t compatible.

So how exactly do you pick your winner? You could rely on your gut feeling, pick a lucky number (13 is considered to be very lucky at the Durban July), you may favour a horse’s name (strange names are used to get around rules dictating that no professional thoroughbreds have the same name) or you could simply do your due diligence.

If you prefer the latter, you’ll have to look at the horse’s previous form - most of the horses that are set to run in the Durban July also ran in the Sun Met so you’ll be able to determine how these horses perform in a high-stake race.

There are also various form, prediction and stats websites where you’ll have access to more information that could assist you in making an informed choice about both the horse and the jockey.

How to bet:

Once you’ve reached a conclusion about your favoured horse, simply register an account at Sun International’s sportsbook, Sunbet. What really sets Sunbet apart from the rest is the fact that we rewards MVG members with redeemable points for every wager made which can then be used at any of Sun International’s casinos and hotels.

Whether you’re attending the race or lounging on the beach, placing your bet can be done in a number of convenient ways; you could utilise our mobile-friendly website to place an online bet. The traditional method of placing bets at a physical shop is also available to our Western Cape punters who can do so at the Golden Valley Casino and the GrandWest Casino as well as our Gauteng punters who visit Carnival City and Time Square.

The thrill is contagious… be a part of the Durban July with Sunbet!