The Vodacom Durban July is South Africa’s greatest race and some important milestones can be reached in the big race’s 125th renewal this year.
DO IT AGAIN can become the first horse in history to win the race three times.
RICHARD FOURIE can become the first jockey in
history to win the race three times in succession if Do It Again wins and it will be his fourth July win in total, joining Piere Strydom, Anthony Delpech and Harold “Tiger” Wright as jockeys who are one short of Anton Marcus record five victories.
JUSTIN SNAITH can become the first trainer in 108 years to win the race four times in succession, joining Fred Murray as the only trainer to have achieved this feat (Murray trained and owned every winner from 1910 to 1913). SNAITH will join Terrance Millard on six July wins if he does do it, one behind the record seven of Hall Of Fame trainer Syd Laird and equal with the legendary Terrance Millard.
BELGARION will be, attempting to become the 6th horse to win the race twice and the 5th to win it two years in succession.
Belgarion’s owners ALEC AND THE HONOURABLE GILLIAN FOSTER will thus be attempting to become what is believed to be the first to be owners and breeders of the winner for two years in succession.
KOMMETDIEDING can become the first Coloured-owned winner for Ashwin Reynolds although the first across the line in 2014 Wylie Hall would have achieved this feat for Michael Leaf if a subsequent objection had not been upheld.
GOT THE GREENLIGHT can become the first Indian-owned and/or Coloured-owned winner. He is owned by Dayalan Chinsammy and Hassan Adams respectively in partnership with trainer Joe Soma.
GOT THE GREENLIGHT will be attempting to overcome the longest layoff for a winner for 87 years. No winner since Sun Tor in 1934, who came off a 161 day layoff, has come off as long a layoff as Got The Greenlight’s, which will be 63 days by July 3.
LUKE FERRARIS, who rides Rainbow Bridge, can become the first teenager to win the race for 52 years, Alan “Snowy” Reid being the last to have done it on Naval Escort in 1969.
LINEBACKER can join both Big City Life (2009) and Legislate (2014) as horses who have won all of the Grade 1 Cape Derby, the Grade 2 WSB Guineas, the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 and the Vodacom Durban July in one season.
CROWN TOWERS, SOVEREIGN SPIRIT, CIRILLO, BELGARION, NEXUS, RUNNING BRAVE AND TRISTFUL will all be attempting to become the first five-year-old winner since the Mike Bass-trained Pocket Power in 2008.
RAINBOW BRIDGE and DO IT AGAIN will both be attempting to become the first six-year-old winner for 41 years, the Johnny Nicholson-trained Beau Art being the last to do it in 1980.
POMODORO can become the sixth July winner to sire a July winner if his son CIRILLO wins. This follows 1909 winner King’s Favourite (who produced 1915 winner Winnipeg), 1941 winner Sadri II (who produced 1951 winner Gay Jane and 1954 winner C’Est si Bon), 1940 winner Kipling (who produced 1952 winner Mowgli), 1987 winner Bush Telegraph (who produced 1996 winner London News) and 2003 winner Dynasty (who has to date produced 2014 winner Legislate and 2020 winner Belgarion).
DYNASTY can become the first July winner to sire more than two individual July winners if either SOVEREIGN SPIRIT or NEXUS wins and will be the first sire to be on the winner’s roll three times if Belgarion wins.
RAINBOW BRIDGE (bred by Mary Slack and Jessica Jell’s Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Stud) could become the seventh winner bred by the Oppenheimer family following Tiger Fish (1959), King Willow (1965), Principal Boy (1975), Greys Inn (2004), Hunting Tower (2007) and Marinaresco (2017). (The Oppenheimers owned the first five of those and also owned 1992 winner Spanish Galliard).
SHE’S A KEEPER, MATTERHORN and TRISTFUL will be attempting to become the first KZN-trained winner since the Dennis Drier-trained Spanish Galliard in 1992.
KZN and Gauteng together have nine runners who will be attempting to break the stranglehold Cape-trained horses have had since the 2014 inaugural running on the new narrower track.
RAINBOW BRIDGE can become the first topweight to win since Do It Again in 2019.
All horses will be out to break the race record time of 131.76 seconds set by the Mike Bass-trained Trademark in 2001.
ANITA AKAL will photograph the July for the 50th time. Congratulations Anita!