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There’s No Beating The Panel!

Meet the men who have some big decisions to make

Graeme Hawkins

The Vodacom Durban July selection panel will face a tough task when they sit down on Monday to make the final decision from 31 entries on the composition of the starting line-up for Africa’s greatest horseracing event.

It is a condition of the Vodacom Durban July that Gold Circle reserves the right to exclude any horse, which, in its opinion, does not warrant inclusion in the race. In addition, they have the right to exclude any horse at Declaration Stage, and thus to unilaterally decide on the final field for the race.

2017 Vodacom Durban July

Roger Smith

The selection panel is made up of Roger Smith (Handicapper), Matthew Lips (Handicapper), Raf Sheik (Gold Circle Racing Executive) and Graeme Hawkins (Gold Circle Marketing Executive).

The panel’s deliberation and decision making is overseen by Neil Butcher, Chairman of the Gold Circle Racing Committee.

Raf Sheik

When approached for clarity as to the workings of the panel, Gold Circle spokesman Graeme Hawkins confirmed that there was always an attempt to achieve consensus rather than having to go for a vote, which he said would only be used as a ‘last resort’.

Matthew Lips

As to the impact of lobbying and external influences, Hawkins was adamant that the panel makes up its own mind without interference from outside.

When taxed on whether any betting patterns could influence the thinking and decision making, he said: “’The betting is clearly a guide as to how the racing public are thinking and serves as a point of reference for our debate. However, the betting – and betting moves – is not a defining criteria.”


Key Dates:

Final Field and Draw: Announcement of the Final Field and Barrier Draws will take place on Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Public Gallops:  7am at Greyville Racecourse, Thursday, 22 June 2017

Weights – 31 are left in


0 Captain America Scratched (6G) 61.5 118 A Brett Crawford
0 Deo Juvente Scratched (5G) 60 115 A Geoff Woodruff
0 Marinaresco Accepted (4G) 60 115 BA Candice Bass-Robinson
0 French Navy Accepted (5G) 57.5 110 AT Sean Tarry
0 Master Sabina Accepted (7G) 57.5 110 AT Justin Snaith
0 $Hat Puntano (ARG) Scratched (3C) 57 113 A Mike Azzie
0 Bela-Bela Accepted (4F) 57 109 A Justin Snaith
0 Brazuca (AUS) Accepted (4C) 56.5 108 A Johan Janse van Vuuren
0 Nother Russia Scratched (4F) 56.5 108 A Mike de Kock
0 Krambambuli Accepted (5G) 56 107 A Justin Snaith
0 Mac De Lago (AUS) Scratched (5G) 56 107 CAT Weiho Marwing
0 Saratoga Dancer Accepted (5G) 56 107 A Duncan Howells
0 The Conglomerate (AUS) Accepted (5G) 56 107 AT Joey Ramsden
0 It’s My Turn Accepted (4G) 55.5 106 A Justin Snaith
0 Ten Gun Salute (AUS) Accepted (4G) 55.5 106 AT Duncan Howells
0 Nightingale Accepted (4F) 55 105 A Candice Bass-Robinson
0 Black Arthur Accepted (4G) 54.5 104 A Justin Snaith
0 Edict Of Nantes Accepted (3C) 54 107 A Brett Crawford
0 Star Express Scratched (4F) 54 103 A Justin Snaith
0 Witchcraft Accepted (4F) 54 103 AT Sean Tarry
0 Al Sahem Accepted (3C) 53.5 106 AT Sean Tarry
0 Heavenly Blue (AUS) Scratched (3C) 53.5 106 A Mike de Kock
0 Liege Accepted (4G) 53.5 102 AT Sean Tarry
0 $Mr Winsome (4G) 53.5 102 A Dean Kannemeyer
0 Africa Rising Scratched (3G) 53 101 A Sean Tarry
0 Celtic Captain Scratched (4G) 53 101 A Gareth van Zyl
0 Elusive Silva Accepted (4G) 53 101 A Justin Snaith
0 Nebula Accepted (4G) 53 101 A Brett Crawford
0 Pagoda Accepted (3G) 53 101 BA Geoff Woodruff
0 Horizon Accepted (3C) 53 100 A Candice Bass-Robinson
0 Master Switch Accepted (5G) 53 100 AT Geoff Woodruff
0 Prince Of Wales Scratched (4G) 53 100 A Justin Snaith
0 Tilbury Fort Accepted (3C) 53 100 AT Sean Tarry
0 Banner Hill Accepted (4G) 53 99 A Glen Kotzen
0 Zodiac Ruler (AUS) Scratched (3G) 53 99 A Justin Snaith
0 Furiosa (AUS) Scratched (3G) 53 98 AT Sean Tarry
0 Copper Force Scratched (3G) 53 96 A Justin Snaith
0 Royal Badge Accepted (4G) 53 95 A Adam Marcus
0 Samurai Blade (AUS) Scratched (4G) 53 95 AT Sean Tarry
0 $Coral Fever (4G) 53 93 A Robbie Sage
0 Fort Meyers Scratched (5G) 53 91 BAT Sean Tarry
0 The Elmo Effect Accepted (5G) 53 91 BA Gary Alexander
0 Rocketball Scratched (4G) 53 90 AT Gavin van Zyl
0 Secret Captain Scratched (3C) 53 89 A Duncan Howells
0 Macduff (AUS) Accepted (4G) 53 88 A Joey Ramsden
0 Jubilee Line Scratched (4G) 53 87 A Mike de Kock
0 Bold Viking Scratched (3G) 53 86 BAT Sean Tarry
0 Copper Pot Scratched (3C) 53 85 AT Sean Tarry
0 Hamaan Scratched (3G) 53 78 AT Sean Tarry
0 Fort Ember Scratched (4F) 52.5 100 A Paul Peter
0 Juxtapose Scratched (4F) 52.5 100 A Stanley Ferreira
0 Silver Mountain Scratched (4F) 52.5 100 A Candice Bass-Robinson
0 Safe Harbour Accepted (3F) 52 103 AT Sean Tarry
0 Orchid Island Scratched (3F) 52 101 A Mike de Kock
0 Trophy Wife Accepted (5M) 52 99 A Sean Tarry
0 Bi Pot Scratched (3F) 52 98 A Geoff Woodruff
0 Girl On The Run Accepted (4F) 52 98 A Johan Janse van Vuuren
0 Belle Rose Scratched (3F) 52 97 A Mike de Kock
0 Dawn Calling Scratched (3F) 52 95 A Duncan Howells
0 Smiling Blue Eyes Scratched (3F) 52 95 AT Sean Tarry
0 Heaps Of Fun Scratched (4F) 52 93 AT Sean Tarry

2017 Vodacom Durban July

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4 comments on “There’s No Beating The Panel!

  1. DOC says:

    Missing Coral Fever!

    1. Editor says:

      He’s there…

  2. DOC says:

    my bad – he’s there

    1. Editor says:

      Could be an omen for you…

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