There’s a very interesting card at Greyville (South Africa), on Saturday, with several big races to look forward to.
Horse Guards, Lloyd’s Legacy, Hashtag Strat and Isca should all go in the Listed Umngeni Handicap (1:50pm GMT), then Nebula takes on Macduff and Prince Of Wales in the Listed Avontour Darley Arabian Handicap (2:30pm).
The feature event is the G1 Champions Cup (3:10pm), a 1m 1f encounter with a huge purse. Marinesco is highly likely to start as favourite, following a shock victory in the G1 Durban July.
The G2 Gold Bracelet (3:50pm) will include Gavin Van Zyl’s Bella Sonata. The filly was 3rd here at Greyville, in the G1 Garden Province Stakes and she looks likely to be in the shake-up. Don’t forget that RaceBets offers fixed-odds betting, on all South African races!
Racing At Greyville
Greyville racecourse is to be found in Durban. This track undulates a great deal and is two thousand eight hundred metres in length. Like a number of racecourses, around the world, there is a fully-enclosed golf-course at the heart of it.
Horse racing was taking place not very far from the current location, more than 150 years ago. The first documented meeting was back in 1844. However, the current course was not in use until the turn of the 20th century.
The venue has been quite pioneering, being the first South African course to hold a meeting on a Sunday and the first to use floodlights and race in the evening.
The Durban July Handicap
The most important fixture to be held at Greyville is the Durban July Handicap. This event was introduced in 1897. Horses of all ages can take part and there is a purse of just over a $300,000.
There are 4 horses that have won this race twice and in consecutive seasons. They are El Picha, Milesia Pride, Corriecrian and Campanajo. The most successful trainer is Sydney C Laird. The last of his 7 winners came in 1979. However, it could be argued that F Murray’s 4 consecutive wins between 1910 and 1913 were even more impressive.
Recent winners of this fixture include Bold Silvano, Igugu, Pomodoro, Heavy Metal and Legislate. As worthy as those winners all are, many believe that it is the 2002 Champion that will live longest in the memory.
Ipi Tombe was sired by Manshood and out of a dam called Carnet de Danse. From Zimbabwe, this bay mare was bred by Peter J Moor and won a total of $1.5 million in prize-money.
The horse remained unraced until her 3-year-old season. She soon made up for lost time, winning four of her first 5 races at Borrowdale. Ipi Tombe performed so strongly in those relatively modest encounters that a South African syndicate formed to purchase the horse. They could see she had what it took to mix it with much stronger runners in their own country.
Their confidence proved to be well-founded. Ipi Tombe emerged as one of the stars of 2002 and 2003. She won the Locust Grove Handicap, the Dubai Duty Free Stakes, the Jebel Hatta, the Woolavington Stakes, the South African Fillies Guineas, the South African Oaks, as well as her famous victory in the Durban July Handicap.
Can Marinesco secure a famous Greyville G1 double, on Saturday?
Betting With RaceBets
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