South Africa’s biggest race, the Vodacom Durban July, will be run at the Greyville Racecourse on Saturday and we preview the big race and suggest a few bets.
There is something about the Durban July which just makes it bigger and better than any other feature race in South Africa. Yes, there are other big races, but none capture the public’s imagination and lure as many into betting as the Durban July. It is a race with a proud history and being a handicap all the runners should, in theory at least, come in to the race with a chance.
This year’s field looks particularly strong and Mike de Kock’s charge Hawwaam is the ruling favourite at 12/5. His price has been fairly steady all week, but there is plenty of quality behind him in the betting with Do It Again priced at 4/1 to repeat last year’s triumph. The 2019 Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge is priced at 7/1, the same price as another Mike de Kock horse, Barahin who has had 4 wins in 7 starts with a second place in the Grade One SA Classic behind Hawwaam a notable performance.
Of course, the July isn’t just about finding the winner and there are plenty of other options on World Sports Betting such as backing a horse for a Top 4 finish as well as all the Tote options like Swingers, Exactas and Trifectas.
Here are my bets for the July:
Barahin each way at 7/1
This 3 year old colt has the services of top jockey Muzi Yeni and of the 4 favourites I think could offer the best value. Trainer Mike de Kock is extremely confident about a good run and fancies Barahin to close the gap on Hawwaam since they met in the SA Classic. De Kock went as far as to say that Barahin is “the horse to beat” and jockey Yeni is also quietly confident and very happy with the draw.
Eyes Wide Open each way at 14/1
This 4 year old colt won the Greyville 1900 and is also a past winner of the Investec Cape Derby run over 2000 metres. He goes very well at Greyville and while the draw is certainly a concern there has been some money for him this week and I expect him to be involved in the finish.
Boxed Swingers: Eyes Wide Open, Barahin and Made to Conquer
For me to collect on this bet I need at least two of these horses to run in the Top 3 and the pay-out will be determined by the Tote dividend. Of course if all 3 run in the Top 3 places I hit each of the Swinger combinations and for that reason I will also be boxing the trio in a Trifecta.
Matchbet: Doublemint to beat Legal Eagle at 8/10
I really love the Matchbet option offered by World Sports Betting. Doublemint is not in the class of Legal Eagle, but staying the 2200 metres is of no concern and the 4 year old colt has been in decent recent form. Legal Eagle is 7 years old now and his best work has been done over a mile and I am not convinced he still has what it takes to challenge here.
Durban July Winning Trainer: Mike de Kock at 13/10
De Kock and Snaith both have very strong hands and while I haven’t backed the favourite in the outright betting it is purely because in the July I like to go for longer prices. To have Barahin and Hawwaam running for me is a tempting I am happy to make this one of my bigger bets of the day.
There are plenty of other races on Durban July day and you can view the full card here and whatever you do make sure you enjoy your July experience by getting a few rand on the outcome and shouting your fancy home with friends and family.