The Durban July Handicap is a South AfricanThoroughbred horse race held annually on the first Saturday of July since 1897 at Greyville Racecourse in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Raced on turf, the Durban July Handicap is open to horses of all ages. It is South Africa’s premier horse racing event and currently offers a purse of R4.25 million. The purse was reduced to R1.5 million in 2020 due to stake reductions caused by COVID-19. The 2021 edition has been increased to R2 million.
First held in July 1897 at a distance of 1 mile (approx 1600m), the distance was modified several times until 1970 when it was changed to its current 2200 meters (11 furlongs).
Below is the final field for the 2021 Vodacom Durban July to be run at HollywoodbetsGreyville racecourse on Saturday 3rd July, Race 7, 15h00. Should a horse be scratched early, then the reserve runner will take up the barrier position of the scratched horse.
Only five horses have ever won the Durban July Handicap back-to-back.
- Campanajo (1897, 1898)
- Corriecrian (1907, 1908)
- Milesia Pride (1949, 1950)
- El Picha (1999, 2000)
- Do It Again (2018, 2019)
Another horse named Pamphlet won twice in 1918 and 1920
There are three horses with the most runs in the Vodacom Durban July:
- Gondolier: Ran 5 races, finally winning the race in 1985
- Beau Art: Ran 5 races and placed first in 1980
- Flaming Rock won his first Durban July in 1991 and then ran in the race 3 times more before retiring.
Most wins by a trainer:
- Sydney C. Laird – 7 : (1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1978)
- Terence M. Millard – 6 : (1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990)
Trainer F. Murray won the race four years in a row from 1910 through 1913.
Most wins by a jockey:
- 5 : Anton Marcus (1993, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2018)
- 4 : Harold “Tiger” Wright – (1942, 1947, 1949, 1955), Anthony Delpech (1998, 2004, 2010, 2011) Piere Strydom (2016,2012, 2001, 1996)
- 3 : Bertie Hayden (1971, 1973, 1978), Felix Coetzee (1984, 1988, 1990), Richard Fourie (2014, 2019, 2020)
Of note to North American racing fans, the 1963 race was won by Colorado King who subsequently raced in California and won the 1964 Hollywood Gold Cup plus set a World Record for nine furlongs in winning the American Handicap at Hollywood Park Racetrack. As well, the 2002 winner, Ipi Tombe, became the first horse bred in Zimbabwe to ever win a race at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 2013, S’manga Khumalo became the first black African jockey to win the Vodacom Durban July when riding Heavy Metal to victory for trainer Sean Tarry.
In 2017, Candice Bass-Robinson became the first female trainer to win the Vodacom Durban July following the victory of Marinaresco. In 2021, Michelle Rix, along with her father Harold Crawford, became the second female trainer with the victory by Kommetdieding.
In 2021, Ashwin Reynolds became the first owner of colour to own a Vodacom Durban July winner following the victory of Kommetdieding.