Horse Racing: Betfred’s Durban July Leaderboard

 | April 12 24 | 

5 mins read

Betfred’s Durban July Leaderboard Challenge is in full swing for a second year running. Betfred punters stand a chance to win their share of R400 000 in VIP Experiences. The competition runs from the 8th of April to the 18th of June 2024. For those of you getting into the sport and for the experienced punters. Join me as we take a look at this historic event and enter the competition to witness it live in Greyville this year.

Below are details on how to enter…

Durban July Leaderboard

  • Show off your horse racing expertise and stand a chance to win incredible prizes, and secure tickets to this year’s big event at Greyville. 
  • Every online bet placed on horse racing will increase your chances of climbing that leaderboard – with the top 8 players set for an unforgettable experience at the 2024 Durban July!
  • Durban July Leaderboard more information.
  • Durban July Pre Noms Ante post.

Where it all began

At the end of the 19th century, this iconic race was born. 1897 would see the first running of this iconic race 1600m for a stake of 500 sovereigns and named the Durban Turf Club Handicap.

In modern iterations of this iconic race, it runs on the first Saturday of July annually, however, this first race to place on the 17th of July. Which was the third Saturday of the month. By 1902 the crowds could enjoy the new (mostly finished) grandstand at Greyville. 

1903 would be the first year that an official time was taken and that year Henry Nourse’s chestnut filly Peerless won it in 1 min 42.5 seconds. You will have to fast forward to 1917 to the first time this race was caught on camera. The Stake was 1250 Pound Sterling, and the stake climbed steadily after that to 2125 Pound Sterling by 1919 it kept growing from there.  

1928 would be the first year this race would run officially as the Durban July Handicap. 

The Trainers 

Inducted into the SA Hall of Fame in 2019, alongside Sea Cottage (horse), Michael Roberts (Trainer), Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer (Owners). 1961 would mark the first of his 7 historic wins at the Durban July, Kerason 1961, Colorado King 1963, Java Head 1966, dead heat with Sea Cottage and Jollify 1964, Mazarin 1971, yataghan 1973 and Politician in 1978. Sad Laird is the foremost conditioner of his day and one of the most celebrated of all time.

In recent years, trainers Mike de Kock and Justin Snaith have each won the Durban July on five occasions. Both are well set up to equal or surpass the legendary Syd Laird’s record of 7 Durban July winners. In his day Terrance Millard Fell short of the landmark figure by just one victory. winning his 6th and final race in 1990 with Ilustrador. Capping off a 3 peat and a dominate 1980’s for Terrance Millard.

The Jockeys

Anton Marcus led the way as far as Jockeys go. Signing his name eternally in history with 5 victories across his career. His first came in July of 1993 and his last came in 2018. 48 years of age at the time of this historic milestone. Anton Marcus’s name will forever be synonymous with this iconic race.

Many Jockeys have followed in his footsteps and managed to win the Durban July on multiple occasions. none have gotten close to equaling Anton Marcus record of 5 victories in the converted race, except for Piere Strydom who won his first July in 1996 with London News. He has 4 victories to his name with the last victory coming in 2016 with Conglomerate.

Piere Strydom is still active in 2024, Aged 57 this year. When asked about retirement, his reply was “I’ve been thinking about retiring at some stage; I just don’t know which day.” For fans of the sport, they will be happy to postpone saying goodbye to such a faithful servant of the game. Who knows, he might have one or more Durban July’s in him.  

The Race

Durban July has had many notable winners. Campanajo, Corriecrian,  Milesia Pride, El Picha and Do it Again have all won the race back-to-back. Do it again also hold of the most runs at the July with 6.

In the year 2004 South Africa celebrated 10 years of democracy and to mark the occasion. All the horses wearing the number 10 saddlecloth in any race staged by Gold Circle that year, carry a South African Flag, incorporating the number 10 on their saddlecloth. It was written in the stars and Africa’s greatest horseracing event, the Durban July of 2004 would the stage on which Greys Inn, wearing the Number 10 Saddlecloth proudly emblazoned with the South African Flag crossed the finish line in first making history and crowing this iconic race with a mark in history that will never be forgotten.

Betfred’s Leaderboard Challenge

Many South African’s have enjoyed this iconic race from their lounges at home and bookmakers’ shops round the country. This year, like last year, we are offering our online customers an opportunity to enjoy the live race from Greyville racecourse.

From the 8th of April 2024 to the 18th of June 2024, every online bet placed on horse racing will increase your chances of climbing up that leaderboard. The top 8 players are set for an unforgettable experience at the 2024 Durban July.

The VIP Experience won by the top 8 players and their plus ones will include.

  • Return flights to Durban 
  • Two nights’ accommodation 
  • Transfers between airport, hotel, and dinner 
  • Dinner on Friday night 
  • Exclusive private hospitality suite at Greyville on the day of the Durban July, including food and beverages 
  • Betfred welcome pack

Every rand spent is another point on the leaderboard and brings you one step closer to the VIP Experience of a lifetime. Brought to you by Betfred. To read more about the offer, click on the banner below or visit (Betfred promotions) 

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