The Marquee Village has mushroomed into life as Greyville Racecourse prepares for another sell-out Vodacom Durban July on Saturday.
Over thirty marquees, including three double-decker marquees – a record for the African continent – now make up the fabled Marquee Village and truck-loads of furniture, catering equipment, sound and lighting gear and decor are being offloaded under the watchful gaze of the interior designers and function co-ordinators in charge of each hospitality venue.
While the goal is to provide their guests and clients with a memorably lavish raceday experience, for many of the venue managers there is always the desire to try and win the coveted prize for the best decorated venue.
The raceday theme “The Colour Of Magic” has provided scope for a great deal of creative interpretation, and guests in the Marquee Village can anticipate the event slogan “Expect The Unexpected” to be realised in front of their own eyes.
New to the event this year is a contemporary lifestyle village close to the Action Stage where spectators and punters can enjoy a range bars catering for typical stylish raceday drinks alongside a wide variety of foods trucks offering cutting edge food options.
The picnic sites have once again proved to be very popular with the more informally inclined socialites.
A new entrance for all picnic site holders and their guests, who are bringing in hebcoolers, cooler bags or containers of any kind, has been created in Avondale Road close to the Avondale/DLI Avenue circle. This is the only gate that will be open for the entire day to allow entry with these containers. Gate 15 in Mitchell Crescent will also be open for picnic site holders until 9am.
While punters gather every morsel of useful information in their quest to pick the winner of the R4,25 million Vodacom Durban July, others factor in a number of alternative methods to predict the winner.
Some turn to mystics and tea leaf readers, while tarot cards readers and fortune tellers also do a roaring trade at this time of year.
One of the race’s traditions is the bean forecasting, which starts with twenty identical beans being planted as soon as the final field is announced, each bean being allocated one of the runners in the main race.
As raceday draws closer, the progress made by the growing beans is meant to give a clue to the winner of the race on Saturday afternoon.
In this year’s crop of beans are to be believed, it will be a very close finish, with Marinaresco right in the action, but being shaded on the line by French Navy.
The 2017 Vodacom Durban July takes place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday. More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
09:30 Fashion on the Track – Competition judges will start scouting for finalists. Entertainment on the Action Stage.
11:25 RACE 1 GREYVILLE CONVENTION CENTRE Handicap – 1400m -POLYTRACK
11:30 Fashion on the Action Stage – Final of Classic Racewear Male and Female Exceptional Raceday Hat or Fascinator
12:10 RACE 2 MUMM Stakes – 1400m POLYTRACK
12:15 Fashion on the Action Stage – Final – HUAWEI Most Striking Couple.
Winners of the Fashion Challenge and the Young Designer Award will be announced.
12:55 RACE 3 BETTING WORLD 2200 (Grade 3) – 2200m – R500 000
13:00 Fashion on the Action Stage – Showing of the Invited Designer Showcase creations.
13:35 RACE 4 SABC GOLD VASE (Grade 3) – 3000m – R500 000
13:40 Fashion on the Action Stage – Finalists in the HUAWEI Most Striking Couple, Classic Racewear Female, Classic Racewear
Male and Exceptional Raceday Hat or Fascinator categories will parade and the category winners will be announced.
14:25 RACE 5 GOLD CIRCLE GOLDEN SLIPPER (Grade 2) – 1400m – R600 000
14:30 SABC Sport on 3 Live Broadcast begins.
On Track entertainment
15:10 RACE 6 DURBAN GOLDEN HORSESHOE (Grade 2) – 1400m – R600 000
15:40 Jockeys enter the Parade Ring for introduction to the crowds.
15:45 NOTE: The tunnel under the track at the finish will close until 16:55. The tunnel at the 300m mark will remain open.
15:55 Jockeys mount.
16:00 Horses leave the Parade Ring.
16:10 The South African National Anthem.
16:20 RACE 7 THE VODACOM DURBAN JULY (Grade 1) – 2200m – R4 250 000
16:25 Victory canter by the winner of the Vodacom Durban July.
16:30 The Vodacom Durban July winner will enter the Gold Horseshoe lead-in area in front of the main grandstand
followed by the presentation of silver salvers and the winners’ sashes.
17:15 RACE 8 COMPENDIUM INSURANCE BROKERS HANDICAP – 1000m – R120 000 – POLYTRACK
17:25 Gold Circle proudly presents Night Racing for the balance of the Vodacom Durban July Racemeeting with
entertainment between races live from the Action Stage.
17:55 RACE 9 KZN YEARLING SALE MILLION – 1300m – R 1 000 000
18:35 RACE 10 JONSSON WORKWEAR Garden Province Stakes (Grade 1) – 1600m – R1 000 000
19:15 RACE 11 eThekwini Sprint (3-year-olds) – 1200m – R120 000 – POLYTRACK
19:55 RACE 12 DAISY BUSINESS SOLUTIONS HANDICAP (Listed) – 1600m – R150 000