Durban – Thousands of punters and party-seekers braved the chilly July weather to enjoy the 120th instalment of Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event with the fabled seventh race enthralling all as unfancied The Conglomerate gave trainer Joey Ramsden his first Vodacom Durban July winner at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday.
Race Seven lived up to the expectation with the final furlong producing all the action as the pre-race favourites all fell by the wayside which left The Conglomerate, starting from the extreme outside draw of eighteen and ridden by Vodacom Durban July veteran Piere Strydom, and Marinaresco to fight it out over the final lengths with the former winning and claiming the R4.25 Million prize with Mac de Lago finishing in third position.
A thrilled Strydom heaped praise on the four year old, saying he had more than enough to hold off the challenge from Marinaresco, with the fancied Bela-Bela failing to mount a challenge in the finish straight after straightening on the inside.
There was no denying that field fashion was on form this year, with plenty of ‘Leader of the Pack’ inspired ensembles gracing the track and many designers vying for a coveted place amongst the winners of the celebrated raceday competitions.
After some tough judging from industry experts designers saw Pregasen Govender, Zandile Masondo, Martin Steenkamp and Madelain Clark secure first place in the Gold Circle Most Striking Couple, Exceptional Raceday Hat or Fascinator and Classic Racewear for Male and Female categories respectively.
The Action Stage also played host to the dazzling finals of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award and Fashion Challenge presented by Durban Fashion Fair, where Leona Magdelene Pillay from DUT and Kimosha Ganas lived the real life fairytale of winning the prestigious pre-race day fashion competitions respectively.
As part of the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience racing fans were also treated to a magical showcase of theme inspired collections from South Africa’s kings and queens of fashion, Durban Invited Designers Karen Monk Klijnstra, Kathrin Kidger, Zama Mathe, Francois Vedemme, Hanrie Lues with Paledi Segapo and Shaldon Kopman from Johannesburg and Tamara Chèrie Dyson from Cape Town.
Photo by Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media