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July – Vote Your Top 4!

Vodacom Durban July Fantasy Races Next Weekend

In a first of its kind in South Africa, two fantasy races will be run next weekend, the first on Friday 3 July and the big one on Saturday 4 July, the date that the original Vodacom Durban July would have been run.

The brainchild of new YouTube racing channel Clocking The Gallop’s Neil Andrews and Nico Kritsiotis, the race is expected to attract a lot of interest along the length and breadth of South Africa and indeed amongst all the expatriates around the world including countries like Laos and Australia.

The main Vodacom Durban July All Time Greats race will be run at 20h00 on Saturday 4 July and the Consolation All Time Greats will jump at 20h00 the day before on Friday 3 July.

Both races will be called by commentator Craig “Eagle Eye” Peters who has called 34 Durban July’s in his career.

Mike Wanklin (photo: supplied)

Mike Wanklin

A handicapping team led by internationally renowned Chief Handicapper Mike Wanklin and assisted by locally based racing aficionados Matthew Lipps, Jehan Malherbe and Charles Faull were mandated with the task of coming up with the final fields of 20 runners each and allotting the weights to be carried.

The main criteria were as follows :

The Vodacom Durban July All Time Greats race – the entrant had to have WON one of the previous runnings of the Vodacom Durban July.

The Vodacom Durban July All Time Greats Consolation Race – the entrant had to have participated in a Vodacom Durban July but never won it.

Ipi Tombe – 2002 Vodacom Durban July

Mike Wanklin explained the process in issuing the final fields and how the weights are structured :

The Vodacom Durban July All Time Greats Consolation Fantasy Race

The weights allocated in this event are based on each horse’s BEST performance “at the weights” in the races they ran.

Thereafter, the allocated weight is tabulated against the backdrop of the current weight scale of the Vodacom July.

Saddle Cloth Horse Age Jockey Kg Draw
1 Elevation 4c Roy Curling 60 10
2 Foveros 6h Basil Marcus 60 12
3 Furious 6g Robbie Sham 60 5
4 Futura 4c Glenn Hatt 60 7
5 Jerez 5h Stanley Amos 60 4
6 Jungle Warrior 5h Kevin Shea 60 13
7 Model Man 4c Paddy Wynne 60 11
8 National Emblem 4c Rhys van Wyk 60 17
9 Spanish Pool 6h Jeff Lloyd 60 2
10 Surfing Home 6g Mark Sutherland 60 14
11 William Penn 6h Johnny Cawcutt 60 6
12 Empress Club 4f Anton Marcus 59 16
13 Olympic Duel 5m Felix Coetzee 59 8
14 Free My Heart 4g Andrew Fortune 58 15
15 Pas De Quoi 7h Garth Puller 58 1
16 Wylie Hall 4c MJ Byleveld 57,5 3
17 Lenin 3c Harry Berry 57 19
18 King’s Pact 3f Charlie Barends 56 18
19 Gatecrasher 3c Muis Roberts 53 20
20 Home Guard 3c Gerald Turner 53 9


An Example will be Model Man:- he carried top weight of 57kg in the July when he ran second to Bush Telegraph so here he again carries joint top weight of 60 kg. All the horses on 60kg carried top weight in the July when they achieved their best meritorious performance.

Note that in terms of the current weight scale male horses aged for years and older can only carry a maximum of 60kg and females 59kg. Thus Empress Club and Olympic Duel carry 59kg.

Three-year-old males are capped at 57kg and fillies 56kg. No male can carry less than 53kg and female 52kg.

The Vodacom Durban July All Time Greats Fantasy Race

For this handicap the same parameters on weight restrictions as outlined above have been applied.

However, the weights allocated have been based on the overall merit assessment figures used by the FORM ORGANISATION and applied to each horses WINNING performance.

This is important because it is not necessarily a measure of that horse’s career merit. For example, FLAMING ROCK carried 52.5kg when he won and has been assessed off that winning performance NOT his subsequent showings where he actually achieved higher weight merit when being beaten.

It is therefore significant that the age of each horse be taken into consideration when assessing the prospects of the chances in this event.

Saddle Cloth Horse Age Jockey Kg Draw
1 Sea Cottage 4c Robbie Sivewright 60 11
2 Politician 4c Bertie Hayden 58,5 20
3 Milesia Pride 4c Tiger Wright 58 4
4 El Picha 5g Anton Marcus 57,5 19
5 Pamphlet 6h Syd Garrett 57,5 8
6 Campanajo 6h George Skirving 55,5 3
7 Spey Bridge 5c Cyril Buckham 54,5 12
8 Pocket Power 5g Bernard Fayd’herbe 54 18
9 Dynasty 3c Robbie Fradd 53,5 13
10 Bush Telegraph 3c Garth Puller 53 17
11 Colorado King 3c Marty Schoeman 53 1
12 Flaming Rock 4c Karl Neisius 53 2
13 Ilustrador 3g Felix Coetzee 53 16
14 In Full Flight 3c Raymond Rhodes 53 10
15 London News 3c Piere Strydom 53 9
16 Mowgli 4c Basil Lewis 53 7
17 Royal Chalice 3c Mark Sutherland 53 15
18 Yataghan 3c Muis Roberts 53 6
19 Igugu 3f Anthony Delpech 52 5
20 Ipi Tombe 3f Kevin Shea 52 14

Neil and Nico urged everyone remotely interested in horse racing to air their voices and to come forward and vote for who they believe to be South Africa’s greatest ever Vodacom Durban July winner.

The racing public can vote for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in each race by sending their selections in to [email protected] or tweeting it to @ClockGallop.

  • The deadline is Wednesday 1 July at midnight.

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40 comments on “July – Vote Your Top 4!

  1. Jay August says:

    No Do It Again?! A two time winner should be an automatic choice. He is better than half on the winner list.

    1. Editor says:

      Jay, Nico says that the handicappers decided not to include any horse that had not completed his career yet

  2. David Thiselton says:

    It must have been an arduous task narrowing it down but I need to question how Mazarin did not make the final field. He was rated by Syd Laird close to Sea Cottage and Colorado King as a three-year-old and won the July by 3,25 lengths in a time which stood as the record until 1987.

    1. Editor says:

      Fair comment David
      We have for a response on Mazarin

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Nice to see Wylie Hall in The Consolation race ✔️

    Cameron James, are you still with us ? Whattt no Do it Again…. 👎🏻 Objection, this is an urgent call for an Optometrist to the Boardroom 🤓

    Great idea though

  4. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Thx Mr Ed, I see the reply why DIA didn’t make the field

    Please send Optometrist to Albert Falls, I couldn’t find Ronnie’s Candy, Rivarine, or Golden Belle today. LoL didn’t even know they were running. (Not) easy Game 😅

    But tomorrow, Tote, be warned ,,, I want cash, lots of R10 notes…..

    Good Night All

    1. Editor says:

      Cash is king Cecil

  5. Jay August says:

    Pity they left him out – he surely has nothing more to prove after two July wins, irrespective of what comes next. I’d rethink that decision!

  6. Horsie says:

    Pitty to see one of the best jocks Robbie Sham not included. Great initiative by Nico and team

  7. Simon Smith says:

    My 4 top selections
    Sea Cottage
    El Picha

  8. Zakes says:

    Rivarine runs far better when the ground is on top, look at his penultimate run to Mr Flood, he had to be a contender if Mr Flood fluffed his lines, Ronny’s Candy and Vistula are 1600M specialists at Turffontein, Queen Supreme had to be at his best to win……

  9. Devon Habib says:

    Why was Bartie leisher not selected for either, surely occult was a legendary win. And Bartie was the first to open the doors for SA to Hong Kong, very disappointed to not see the world champion Bartie Leisher not featured in either?

  10. donald bradshaw says:

    Even the great Sea Cottage cannot give 7 kgs. to a top 3 year old like In Full Flight in this July Handicap especially when you consider the manner in which In Full Flight won his July !

    The reasoning of leaving D.I.A. out of this July is sound and that was also my reasoning in leaving out current jockeys when the S.P. asked for our top ten jockeys a few weeks back.

  11. Anand Chetty says:

    Sea cottage deadheated with a top 3 year old (Jollify) giving him about 12 kg

  12. Dev Govender says:

    I think the issue here is not who was the greatest winner of the July but who would have the best chance of winning at these weights. So while I consider Sea Cottage and Politician to be the greatest of the July winners on this list, I struggle to see them conceding chunks of weight to Pocket Power, In Full Flight, Ilustrador and Royal Chalice. I think the two heavy-weights would still run creditable races but just on the heels of the lower-weighted quartet I’ve just mentioned.

    As for the Consolation…………my goodness, Gatecrasher with just 53kg on his back and Muis in the irons – surely it’s race over? Of the horses I have actually seen in action, I consider Empress Club and Pas De Quoi to be the best in the field, but I’ve heard many knowledgeable racing folk raving about how good Gatecrasher was and I can’t imagine anyone giving him, at his best, that kind of weight and beating him.

  13. donald bradshaw says:

    Hi Anand , with all due respect to Jollify he was no In Full Flight , having said that I will still vote 1st. Sea Cottage 2nd. In Full Flight ( the July is a rough race and hopefully Sivewright can sort things out as they are drawn alongside ) 3rd. Pocket Power 4th. London News !

    I find Marty Schoeman an interesting choice of rider for Colorado King as I would have thought that ride would go to Johnny Cawcutt ?

  14. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    Devon Habib you are spot on BL was in a league of his own…well done with your lovely win yesterday,,some great riding young lad…

  15. Devon Habib says:

    Thanks Frankie this is Donavan habib’s son and Calvin habib’s brother.. Very upset Bartie Leisher was not selected for either regardless…

    Welldone to Devin Habib in his winner, top ride…

  16. Beverley says:

    No Grey’s Inn or Jamaican Music?

  17. Lazarus says:

    Mr. ED. Am no so clued up bout how this race is going to work, pls help.

    1. Editor says:

      What do you want to know Lazarus?

  18. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Ed. My double is

    16. Wylie Hall
    19. Igugu

    Q – The draws above, is it correct ? Both my selections no chance from draws 16 and 19

  19. Jay August says:

    Mr Ed, I think Lazarus has a good point. What technology is employed and what are the inputs that drive the software engine for the virtual race?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Jay
      We are endeavouring to get hold of Mr Kritsiotis for a response
      Will revert

    2. Editor says:

      Hi Jay
      Nico explains that the system is a manual vote count based on weighted values for the professional handicappers, presenters and public

  20. Gary says:

    Home Guard was also a top horse ..but Naval Escort beat him in the July

  21. Jay August says:

    Ok. That must have been in the detail and my ADD missed it. Thought it was a virtual race as in AI generated.

  22. praveen says:

    My vote would be Sea Cottage to win from In Full Flight, Yataghan & Colorado King. Gatecrasher to win consulation race from William Penn, Elevation & Foveros. Not easy to access, but a great thought! Would love to know the outcome.

  23. Ian Trimmel says:

    They would all need to start running now to beat Rainbow Bridge in this July

  24. PL.NEL says:

    Would love to have seen Hawaii in this lineup, with his Guiness record locally still solely intact and his very decent international career, I think he would have been hard to beat at just about any weight.

  25. Deven says:

    Why is Horse chestnut not included he would have given these horses a run for there money🐴🐴🐴

  26. praveen says:

    Only horses that actually ran in the July qualify. Winners of July run in the “main event” on Saturday, .Only horse that have retired qualify. Still, would have been nice to see Hawaii in either line-up. One of tthe greatest horses to have raced here

  27. Anand Chetty says:

    Empress club never ran in the July to my knowledge.
    I think she was a scratching after final acceptance

  28. Nashen Persad says:

    Igugu over Dancers Daughter?

  29. Dean Bayley says:

    Nashen Persad ask’s a question Igugu over Dancers Daughter are you for real – Igugu wins Triple Tiarra , Woolavington ,July ,Ipi Tombi and Met in one season – I can’t see another horse ever achieving that feat – Dancer Daughter DHT July and wins Paddock stakes (if i have forgotten any other noteable wins by Dancers Daughter please refresh my brain Mr Ed ) –

  30. Dean Bayley says:

    Nashen Persad are you for real – Igugu over Dancers Daughter – Igugu wins Triple Tiarra – Woolavington ,July , Ipi Tombi and Met in 1 season – Dancers Daughter DHT July and wins Paddock Stakes – if I forgot any noteable wins please include Mr Ed – I can’t see another horse achieving what Igugu done

  31. Richard Letwaba says:

    Which horse won the July as a 3yr & went on to be unbeaten before capture Gr1′ @ World’s richest raceday. As a filly nogal. Is it because of where she started her career? Not any1’s favourite? 1 of the fastest finishers of the VDJ. 12L off the pace turning 4 home. End of career, graded race named after her. What a prosperous unrecognisable career.

  32. Dev Govender says:

    To respond to some of the questions above:

    -Empress Club was indeed scratched from the July as a 3yo but she came back the next year to finish seventh, beaten just over two lengths. Not a bad effort under top weight and without the benefit of a prep run, but she sadly was a shadow of her former self by then.

    – Igugu was a great filly and winning the Triple Tiara is a great achievement, but don’t disrespect Dancer’s Daughter – her 3 Gr 1 wins in the Gold Challenge – Majorca Stakes – Empress Club Stakes came against much superior opposition than what Igugu faced in the Triple Tiara. She matched Igugu by winning the July and in the process deadheating with an all-time great in Pocket Power. And although she failed to match Igugu by winning the Met, her narrow second to Pocket Power was as meritorious as many horses winning the Met in other years. I respect both these fillies but to suggest Igugu was vastly superior to Dancer’s Dancer is breathtakingly ignorant. DD won five Gr 1 races to Igugu’s four, and ran four times against Pocket Power at his peak, deadheating once, beating him once (in a genuine championship contest, the Gold Challenge) and two narrow defeats behind him. In terms of opposition, Igugu, while undoubtedly a tremendous filly, did not take on anything in Pocket Power’s class.

  33. Trevor Fortune says:

    It will be fascinating listening to the commentary even if it is only a fantasy race. Yataghan, Dynasty, Bush Telegraph, In Full Flight, Ilustrador and London News at 53 kgs are all very well weighted to take on the ultimate champion.

  34. Anand Chetty says:

    Richard, I agree with you. Four wins and a second in Zimbabwe, then 2nd in debut run in South Africa, never beaten after that. Won the July as a three year old with a very poor draw, nearly a dozen lengths behind at the final bend. Carried more weight than many a filly before her.
    Unbeaten in Dubai, won her only start in the USA before I think she was retired due to injury. So she won in 4 countries in 3 continents.
    Anyone hear of Ipi Tombi?

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