Following the global trend of hosting events remotely, the 124th edition of the Vodacom Durban July today will be held behind closed doors and with none of the revelry that is usually associated with the more than 50 000 guests who attend the big day at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse every year.
All the afternoon’s ten races will be broadcast live on Tellytrack (Dstv 239), and Supersport S4 and SS10 will be live from 13h00.
But the Durban Virtual July Experience will still aim to celebrate the sport of horseracing and all the extras it comes with – fashion, food and entertainment.
The event usually brings in more than R300 million during this weekend and creates more than 2 000 jobs for people in and around the municipality. Hosting the event virtually will still allow for some economic activity for the city.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, said the virtual event was a concept that aimed to promote Durban and what it had to offer. He said he hoped that the virtual event would also bring a jolt of nostalgia to people who had previously attended the event, so that they make sure they attend in 2021.
“We want to remind people what it felt like to be in Durban during the Durban July weekend. We also want to encourage our people to explore what more Durban has to offer.”
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Steven Marshall of Gold Circle said they had been working hard in trying to salvage the event and be able to still host it this month.
“It was important for us to be socially responsible during this time and make sure that the event continues, but happens virtually,” he said.
“We are also encouraging people to dress up in their VDJ finest and post on social media what they are wearing on the day as they watch the races on TV.”
Fact Durban Rocks have a lockdown after-party on Channel O on the Saturday from 6pm until midnight,” he said.
Those taking part in the event, have been encouraged to order from local restaurants to boost the city’s economy.
Here’s all the carryovers
Race 2: BiPot Leg 1 – R100,000 carryover; likely pool R750,000.
Race 3: PA Leg 1 – likely pool R2 million.
Race 4: Pick 6 MEGAPOOL Leg 1 – R2 million carryover; likely pool R15 million.
Race 5: Jackpot ONE Leg 1 – R200,000 carryover; likely pool R2 million.
Race 7: Quartet MAXIPOOL – R1,000,000 carryover; likely pool R15 million.
Race 7: Jackpot TWO Leg 1 – likely pool R1 million.
Race 9: Trifecta – R100,000 carryover; likely pool R1 million.
Race 10: Jackpot Quickmix 2 – R25,000 carryover; likely pool R100,000.