Quick Links:

Hollywoodbets Durban July – Slack Filly Slams Boys

Fifth Durban July winner for Silvano

Horseracing’s back in business! A bumper crowd in excess of 30 000 watched the 126th renewal of the R5  million Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July at Hollywoodbets Greyville in Durban on Saturday.

The 2200m contest produced a dream result for multiple champion conditioner Mike de Kock and jockey Smanga Khumalo, when Mary Slack’s Silvano filly Sparkling Water gave the talented boys a hiding.

Smanga Khumalo steers Sparkling Water to victory (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)


After two years of covid-19 induced silence on course, the crowds came back in their numbers after Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s timeous repeal of  the restrictions on event attendance at the end of June. With new sponsors’ Hollywoodbets grabbing the marketing and promotional baton with zeal, Africa’s greatest horseracing generated shades of its traditional buzz and appeal.

The 2013 Durban July history-making winning jockey, Wilgerbosdrift-sponsored Smanga ‘Bling’ Khumalo found himself at the centre of a minor sideshow controversy in the build-up when he parted company with his regular dual Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winning mount Jet Dark to take the reins on Sparkling Water, who is owned by his sponsors, Wilgerbosdrift.

The decision proved on the mark, as Sparkling Water (16-1), the sole member of the fairer sex in the class of 2022, romped clear off a modest pace into the final 300m, to beat Jet Dark (16-1) by 3 lengths in a time of  135,08 secs and give Mrs Slack a first Durban July success, after her parents Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer won it six times in their famed yellow and black strip.

Another De Kock runner, Safe Passage (11-2) was the first 3yo home in third, a further 0,30 lengths back.

History chasing 7yo Do It Again (8-1) led the charge in the latter stages, but was consumed late by the top three.

Defending champion Kommetdieding (12-1) carried joint topweight and failed to deliver his blistering late turn of foot, finishing 4,10 lengths off, with late reserve inclusion Airways Law (40-1), a further 1,20 lengths back.

Sparkling Water was Mike de Kock’s third fairer sex victress in the big race after  Ipi Tombe (2002) and Igugu (2011) – and his fifth overall.

The 4yo was one of a quartet representing the Randjesfontein master. Interestingly, this is the first season in many a year that De Kock has based himself at Summerveld, and the move back to basics is certainly paying dividends.

Smanga Khumalo lifts the silverware (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The Wilgerbosdrift& Mauritzfontein-bred winner is a fifth Durban July winner for the deceased champion Silvano (Lomitas). She is second foal of the well-performed Espumanti, who raced for De Kock and retired after pulling up lame in the July in 2014.

She is by Dansili out of Jouet and raced 17 times for six wins from 1160m -1900m.

Espumanti won two Gr2 races and  was Gr1-placed three times, including a second to superstar Beach Beauty in the 2012 Garden Province Stakes.

Sparkling Water has won 7 races with 8 places from 16 starts for stakes of R4 354 125.

Watch the replay here:

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname*

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname - no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the Editor. The Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

27 comments on “Hollywoodbets Durban July – Slack Filly Slams Boys

  1. Anesh Billat says:

    Congrats MDK and Bling well done

  2. Luigi Morelli says:

    Congrats to all concerned it seems Mr Khumalo made the right mistake!!

  3. Shadin Khosa says:

    Super filly winning convicingly congratulations to smanga khumalo n mdk team salute 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  4. Sean says:

    Congrats to Master De Kock, Bling and don’t forget the queen of SA racing Mrs Slack, it is such a joy for me to see Mrs Slack finally imitate her parents and win the no1 race in SA. Of course Sparkling Water you beauty

  5. Shadin Khosa says:

    What a win congrats to smanga khumalo n mdk team salute


    What happened to Do it Again at the start? Why did Linebacker underperform?

  7. Nigel Bragg says:

    Great filly. So happy she has landed a big race. Well done to all concerned.

  8. Adri Theron says:

    Well done SK, MdK and team, but most of all Mrs Slack! We appreciate what you do for racing in SA.

  9. Steve Reid says:

    A deafening silence emanating from Mountain Goat country.

    A bonus is seeing the biggest ego in racing with egg all over his face. Well played Bob I’m pretty sure that you played a pivotal role in the 16/1 being on offer on offer at the jump.

  10. Steve Reid says:

    Frankie Zackey must still be drunk. Well played boy, take a bow, you preached this for weeks, hope you not accepting payment terms from the bookies.

    Nel and Jacobs in hiding,

  11. John Mynhardt says:

    Again a very slow run July. Anytime the July is won in more than 134 sec it indicates a false run race from point of view. This has truly turned into the ‘Durban Doddle’. Not taking PP to the front was a mistake from Snaith. Still feel Ipi Tombi is way better than this filly, especially when we get true run races with some sort of pace. Hope next year there is a true pacemaker in the race. That mostly results in a thrilling finish. Congrats to MdK. He clearly won the tactical battle.

  12. Kubenderan Dhaver says:

    Well Done Mike And Khumalo ,and the prize couldnt go to A better PERSON than MRS SLACK

  13. Super performance by the filly. Jet Dark enhanced his reputation and versatility with another explosive finish over the 2200 metres, proving he can stay. This son of Trippi by a Jet Master mare could eventually turn out to be a smashing stallion at stud. One more season for him? .

  14. Dev Govender 2 says:

    As I posted on the trainer preview article – I was never in doubt that MdK would win it (and probably have more than one runner in the first four) but I had plenty of doubts as to exactly which of his contenders he would win it with! So I literally split my bets across all four of them.

    Proud of DIA – he was a bit too handy for my liking and his early charge for home tired him out in the closing stages. But in saying that, nothing could have beaten Sparkling Water on the day – she was visibly superior to every one of her rivals at these weights.

    Shout out to Jet Dark – I wasn’t worried about the distance but I couldn’t see him conceding all that weight down the field. He ran a fantastic race in the cirrcumstances – for me, it was the best individual performance of the race. I was one of those who was sceptical when he received such a high rating as a 3yo, but he’s proved me wrong.

    Respect also to KMDD. I couldn’t see him threatening this year at the weights and more so without a prep run – so all things considered, fifth place was a perfectly respectable performance.

  15. Jabulani Sithole says:

    July horse racing is back with a bang well smangaliso mbulase wow wow wow what a horse 🐎

  16. Zac Salvatore says:

    Great race great jockey great ride. One horse to follow is Jet Dark it going for great rides

  17. Shadin says:

    I want salute Do it again is real soldier

  18. Gillian Brunt says:

    Congratulations to all and to the Super Star Silvano stallion sadly gone producting another great winner


    What happened at the starting gate with Do it Again? And why did Linebacker perform so badly? Anyone with an opinion?

  20. hilton witz says:

    Im surprized no mention has been made of the fact that the july consolation race was run in 134,29 seconds and the july itself run in 135,08 and the garden province run in 97.76 and the listed handicap run in 96.56 …

  21. Pooveshan Naidoo says:

    Indeed @ steven Reid
    We have a genuine owner who has the horses at the forefront of her priority

    Good to have mdk winning the big one and adding credibility to SA racing

  22. Rod Petit says:

    Please Justin , Jet Dark for the Gold Cup and with a Jock that can count and judge pace so he can put in his run earlier , in my opinion he will stay all day .having said that well done Bernard for your for your first ride on JD .As for DIA what can i say? And well done to all connections of the winner.

  23. Jay August says:

    Hilton , it is even more intriguing than that. The original time input by the judge was 134.61s for the July, which was subsequently changed to 135.08s. Why?

    My timings via video show the July was run in 134.44s and the 2200 in 134.36s. The latter however were >6 lengths (>1s) faster at the halfway mark in their race than the July.

  24. Sanjith Pancham says:

    Great win sp. I have a sneakey feeling Steinbach will win next year July

  25. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey… Hollywoodbets take a bow,,if this is the start of what’s to come with horseracing in KZN then I suggest the balance should rather follow instead of trying to lead…The amount of cash that was floating around on course at the tote and bookmakers facilities was mind blowing,, it took me back to the early 2000s where Millions of Rands were wagered on course…Big Well Done Hollywoodbets… Steve Reid to be quite honest I was at my best behaved,, arrived on course like gentlemen and left in just about the same condition when I arrived back home… Only hiccup and a 1st was our Uber driver was the SAP,, not a Uber around at the time,, what they earned in 45 minutes by helping us out with a lift I don’t think they earn in a week…. Sir Mike De Kock you a Legend Champ…Hello Fillies last outing in Hello April


    I made it 134.31, so I’d take Jay’s time as spot on.

Leave a Comment



Popular Posts

New Champ Rachel Makes History

Newly crowned SA Champion apprentice rider Rachel Venniker will make history when she becomes the first female rider in South Africa to utilise a recently legislated 1,5kg sex allowance

Read More »

Related Posts

None found