Hollywoodbets Durban July – Here’s The Class Of 2024!

Future Pearl pulls an 18 draw

A vintage 128th renewal of the R5 million Hollywoodbets Gr1 Durban July is on the cards after a capacity field of 20, including 2 reserves, was unveiled at a function at the Bond Shed at Ushaka Marine World in the holiday city at lunch-time on Tuesday.

Hollywoodbets Durban July draw time (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The big race panel was left with 24 hopefuls to mull over when the final declaration stage closed at 11h00 on Monday, and there is unlikely to be any contention or debate as to the quartet that missed the cut, although all of Indian Ocean, Narina Trogon, Mucho Dinero and Imilenzeyokududuma could make their presence felt in one of the support features on the big day.

While the fairer sex are absent this year amongst the equine ranks, it is good to see Turffontein-based Robyn Klaasen standing tall as the rose amongst the trainer thorns, with her dual Grade 1 winner Purple Pitcher one of seven sophomores in the line-up.

Reigning SA Champion trainer Justin Snaith has saddled 5 Durban July winners, and holds the aces in pure numbers, with a quartet of runners.

An interesting jockey booking is WSB Cape Town Met winner Danny Muscutt who travels from the UK to partner Double Superlative, in what could be a historic double. Muscutt follows in the bootprints of Christophe Soumillon who rode Safe Passage last year.

Sean Tarry has enjoyed a great season, and is looking for his third winner as he saddles a power duo of Cousin Casey and recent Tabgold Gr3 Derby winner Future Pearl, the latter to be ridden by Grant van Niekerk, who was originally engaged to ride first reserve, Hluhluwe.

“A few months ago I was looking at an average Hollywoodbets Durban July attack. But things develop and I am very happy with two serious contenders, and a decent reserve runner,” he told the Sporting Post.

Hollywoodbets Durban July hostesses at the final field function (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Still a force after three decades, Mike de Kock is looking to add to his July tally of 5 winners with his duo of 2022 Gr1 SA Derby winner, and the enigmatic Shoemaker. Aragosta was a selection panel casualty last year, and his connections would have been pleased with his forward performance behind Future Pearl in the Derby recently, which makes him a lively runner. The De Kock pair drew alongside each other at 6 and 7.

Defending champion Brett Crawford has a strong hand with the lightly raced 2023 hero Winchester Mansion and progressive 3yo Oriental Charm carrying his flag. Winchester Mansion drew 9, while their dark horse Oriental Charm drew 11.

Tony Peter has SA Derby winner Son Of Raj and recent Jubilee Handicap victor Meridius, giving him an outside shout of what will be an icebreaking Hollywoodbets Durban July celebration.

Dean Kannemeyer pulled the 5 gate and looks to saddle a second Hollywoodbets Durban July winner for Khaya Stables after Power King in 2015. He holds the key with favourite Green With Envy.

Owner Peter Victor pulled the pole position gate for Royal Victory, who looks to give the hometown boys a long overdue victory in the big race.

The function was hosted in his usual polished and professional manner by veteran MC, Graeme Hawkins, whose chirp to Mike de Kock that his runners were ‘at 6’s and 7’s’ will hopefully not prove to be prophetic!

Here is the field:

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