The Mecca of African Racing

Grayville RacecourseGreyville Racecourse - home to the R3.5million Vodacom Durban July
(Image : Gameplan)

Durban, South Africa

Champions Season 2013 - the most comprehensive thoroughbred racing festival on the African Continent and one of the biggest and best in the world, is set to be the most exciting in years culminating in the ultimate prize, ‘Africa’s Greatest Horserace’, the internationally acclaimed Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.

The stakes pot for the Champions Season feature races in KwaZulu-Natal has been given a R6million cash injection which represents a 28% increase on current levels.

Announcing the increases, Gold Circle’s Racing and Marketing Executive, Graeme Hawkins, said: “This is another step towards ensuring KwaZulu-Natal remains the racing capital of the country and is consistent with Gold Circle’s vision of a new era of growth for owners, trainers and the sport of horseracing in this province. These increases will hopefully ensure that all the country’s top horses will be seen in action during Champions Season and we are looking forward to one of our best winter seasons ever.”

This news follows hot on the heels of Gold Circle’s announcement last week of an across the board stakes increase of between 10% and 11% for all minor races in the province and the news that this year’s Vodacom Durban July will be run for a stake of R3,5 million, making it the richest horserace on the continent.

The biggest Champions Season increases are the R500,000 added to the Vodacom Durban July stake, while the Daily News 2000 also gets a R500,000 cash injection and this year will be run for a stake of R1,5 million.

The stake for the Woolavington 2000, run on the same afternoon as the Daily News 2000, has been increased to R750,000. The stake for the Gold Cup, the country’s most important race for stayers and final feature of the season, also goes up by R250,000 and will carry a stake of R1,25 million. Other significant increases for the Grade 1 races include the Golden Horse Sprint and Mercury Sprint, now both worth R750,000, the SA Fillies Sprint, up R100,000 to R600,000 and the Garden Province Stakes, up R250,000 to R750,000.

Added to Champions Season this year is the KwaZulu-Natal Breeders’ Race Day scheduled for the Saturday before the Vodacom Durban July when the KZN Breeders’ Million Mile worth R1million will hold center stage. The Million Mile will be backed up by seven other races all with a stake of R200,000.