2008

Dead Heat in the Vodacom Durban July

It was inevitable that they would meet on the emerald turf at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, July 5, 2008. The two best horses in South Africa squaring up to contest Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event, the R3-million, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.

2008DeadHeat Pocket Power and Dancer’s Daughter were the leading male and female thoroughbreds in the country going into the race, both with impeccable records, both from top Cape stables and both seeking racing’s greatest honour.

Mike Bass had taken the winner’s sash twice before with Trademark and Dunford and Pocket Power looked set to make it three. It was Justin Snaith’s first runner and Dancer’s Daughter was his great hope.

Pocket Power had won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and J&B Met two years running and had suffered one of his rare defeats just three weeks before the big day. It was their only previous encounter and it was Dancer’s Daughter that beat him.

The 2 200m clash at Greyville would be the real showdown as both were multiple Grade 1 winners and both camps were highly confident of success. Public support for both had reached a crescendo and the stage was set for the battle of the decade.

As expected, both produced awesome performances as they came together in the home straight fighting neck and neck and crossing the line as one horse. Neither Bernard Fayd’Herbe on Pocket Power nor Kevin Shea on Dancer’s Daughter could claim victory and it was left to the judges to separate them.

The eventual dead-heat result was justice well done. Two magnificent horses from two exceptional stables, perfectly ridden by two outstanding jockeys, united in victory.

Champions all. We salute you.

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