For the first time in the event’s 124-year history, the prestigious Vodacom Durban July will be held behind closed doors, with eager punters able to get in on the equine action by betting online through sites like Sportingbet.
Known as Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event, the Vodacom Durban July (VDJ) usually attracts thousands of eager punters and fashionistas to Durban’s Greyville Racecourse, but the current lockdown measures have seen organisers change things up a bit. This year, all the #VDJ2020 horse racing action is still accessible and social distancing regulations adhered to. But sadly, given the reality of the present circumstances, the race meeting will be staged behind closed doors and without spectators.
Some pre-race insights for 2020
On Thursday, 23 July at 7.35pm, Tellytrack (Channel 239) will broadcast discussions by track legends on this year’s final field in The Vodacom Durban July Preview Panel. Included in the panel are Vodacom Durban July-winning trainers, Mike de Kock and Justin Snaith, alongside South African jockey champions, Warren Kennedy and Anthony Delpech.
One of the hottest topics being discussed this year is whether Justin Snaith’s two-time Vodacom Durban July-winning runner, Do It Again, will actually ‘do it again’ and take home a historic third consecutive victory in 2020. Although it may be a tough task for the horse, he’s performed well over the KwaZulu-Natal winter and might just take the unprecedented win.
The final field for this year’s Vodacom Durban July has been announced, giving punters plenty of time to work out their top picks and back their favourites. This year’s prize money totals R4.25 million with the winner taking around R2.5 million, second- place R800 000, third-place R400 000 and fourth-place R200 000.
The glitz and glamour continue
Another major aspect of the popular horse racing event is the high-end fashion and trends. This year, the country’s biggest celebrities, high-flyers, influencers and fashionistas will be taking on this year’s theme, ‘Butterflies’ and sharing their #VDJ2020 looks on social media.
Vodacom is also hosting a competition where people design masks that reflect the theme and fashion trends on social media. Fashion from 10 guest designers and eight emerging designers from the Durban Fashion Fair will also be unveiled on the day via live-streaming from the course, with fans at home being encouraged to send in images which will be shared on social media and the livestream.
The beginner’s guide to betting on horse racing
If you’ve never attempted placing a bet at the races, then 2020 is your chance. Through online gambling portal, Sportingbet, you’re able to easily pick your winner and participate in the excitement, right from the comfort of your own home. But before delving in, there are a few items to consider when choosing your banker. These include:
- The breeder of the horse
- The trainer and jockey
- The parents of the horse – genes count for a lot in horse racing
- The sex and age of the horse
- Previous racing experience
- The horse’s preferred tracks and current form
It’s worth doing a bit of research around these horse elements before backing your winner, but once you’ve found your favourite runner, here’s what type of bets you can consider:
1. Straight / Win Bets – This is when you choose the horse that will cross the finish first;
2. Each Way / Place Bets – This is when the horse must finish in one of the top three or four places, depending on the number of places the tote is paying;
3. The Straight Forecast / Exactas – This is when you choose a horse for 1st place and a horse for 2nd place, in order;
4. The Combination Forecast – This is when you choose horses for 1st and 2nd place, in any order;
A betting special that Sportingbet has added this year for the Durban July, is winning even if your horse comes 2nd. Amazingly, this special allows you to still win even if the horse you chose to win comes 2nd in the main race (16:20).
The Vodacom Durban July 2020 Schedule
The main race is set to take place at 3.10pm on Saturday, 25 July when a selection of the country’s best thoroughbreds will compete for the top title and prize money. There is non-stop race action on the day, so keep checking this schedule so you know when to get your bets in:
|1||11.35||Pinnacle Stakes 100m (Poly)|
|2||12.10||KZN Yearling Sale Million 1300m (Turf)|
|3||12.45||Campanajo 2200 2220m (Turf)|
|4||13.20||DStv Gold Vase 3000m (Turf)|
|5||13.55||Gold Slipper 1400m (Turf)|
|6||14.30||Durban Golden Horseshoe 1400m (Turf)|
|7||15.10||Vodacom Durban July 2200 m (Turf)|
|8||15.45||Ethekwini Sprint 1200m (Poly)|
|9||16.20||Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes 1600m (Turf)|
|10||16.55||Thukela Handicap 1600m (Turf)|
Sportingbet – SA’s Largest Online Sportsbook is the ultimate online betting platform, connecting you to all the Vodacom Durban July action. To place a bet through Sportingbet, simply visit sportingbet.co.za and register using the hassle-free online process to ensure you are ready to place your bet this Durban July.