July Goes To New Level With Hollywoodbets

Tuesday morning at 11h00 - the class of 2022

The Hollywoodbets Durban July Final Field Announcement and Draw Ceremony will take place today at the Hollywoodbets offices in Umhlanga and this venue change is one of the innovations already incorporated by the new sponsor.

Hollywoodbets, who were founded as a horseracing concern, have been pouring their renowned energy into The July and plan to not only solidify its status as Africa’s premier horse race but to take it to a new level.

After the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge – Devin Heffer is flanked by Di and Mike de Kock (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Hollywoodbets Brand And Communications manager Devin Heffer said, “The team has been working flat out from even before the launch (on February 17). There is so much happening. It is a whole new animal. Before we only had to worry about our own little July parties at our branches.  But now you are taking into account the events element, the partying element, the fashion etc. This year has been a lot more about just making sure we get the basics right, but at the same time trying to add that Hollywood flair to it where we can. There are a lot of special things that will be happening and I think as the years go on it is just going to get better.”

He elaborated, “We are going to try and create those special kind of cultural things which people will associate with the race in the same way as the mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby. Those are the sort of things we want to eventually incorporate. Already you will see on July day there are going to be a lot of souvenir items, things that people can take home after the day as a memory. We are going to try and add as much value as we can for the racegoer. Obviously this year we are only going to have 50% capacity with 27,500 people there, but it might work in our favour given it is our first time doing the event. The one thing for certain though is that at the moment Hollywood is eating, living, breathing and sweating the Hollywoodbets Durban July. If you have ever been to a Hollywoodbets’ event you know what to expect in terms of what we bring to it and I think the July won’t be any different.”

A car can be seen at the base of the stand – it was given away on Gold Challenge day (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Hollywoodbets are likely to have a few runners on the day, including in some of the features, although unfortunately no runners in the big one.

Devin said about today’s Final Field Announcement and Draw Ceremony, “We look forward to welcoming the horseracing industry stakeholders and owners, trainers and jockeys into our Hollywood home and family. They will be able to get a true taste of what our culture is all about.”

The Hollywoodbets Durban July Gallops will take place on Thursday at Hollywoodbets Greyville and there are also innovations expected here and in other build up events.

Devin said, “We are going to try and break down that barrier between the public and the horseracing stake holders, so we’ve got a lot of value we are trying to add to the day. We are trying to increase Supersport’s overall coverage of the race, so apart from the race day itself we are going to get them involved in the final field announcement and the gallops and we have already confirmed the panel discussion will be aired on Supersport.”

The Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge crowd (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The Hollywoodbets Durban July Panel Discussion promises to be top quality this year. It takes place at Hollywoodbets Greyville in a purpose built temporary studio in the Classic Room and the line up, which will include two top trainers and two top jockeys, will be hosted by Alistair Cohen.

Devin concluded, “There is a lot that’s happening in terms of building the coverage of this race and we’re using all the connections we’ve got to make sure that come Saturday the 2nd of July we’ve given it everything we’ve got.”

Ed – The final field announcement for the R5 million Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July will be broadcast live on Supersport (Dstv 200) and Racing 240 (Dstv 240), or streamed live via GallopTV.

If you haven’t already joined the many racing fans who have signed up free for GallopTV, please subscribe via their website www.galloptv.co.za.


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13 comments on “July Goes To New Level With Hollywoodbets

  1. Hilton Witz says:

    Having just watched the greatest racing event in the world royal ascot it is very clear that you need to keep and respect age old traditions in the sport of racing ..I ask the operator and sponsors of racing to return to the tradition of having the saddle cloths on the horses the way they used to be as in the current format it is insulting the owner trainer and not least the horse ..The best horses have earned the right to come out on parade in order of ability and they thoroughly deserve this respect..The new format has not worked so please return to the previous format and let us keep with tradition ..Another request for july day is that all the races that are run on the grass track that the horses go DOWN TO POST on the grass track as this going down on a different surface to what you are going to race on is an insult to the punters and the connections of the horse ..

  2. George McDonald says:

    For the last 3/4 of the racing year big races( Grade 1) have been run in Vaalie and Kaapie territory.
    So horses in those home towns were able to increase their Merit Ratings.
    On the other hand KZN horses stayed at low 90s without a chance of increasing.
    But KZN horses always had a a run in the July in years gone by?
    Yes yes but that was during the RF and not MR system days.
    So can MR system be blamed for no KZN HORSE in the July?
    There must be a reason.

  3. Martin le Roux says:

    Great comment Hilton in every aspect. Being of a more senior racing generation I am also in favour of keeping traditions as a matter of importance to the industry. With the changes that have taken place how many new people have been attracted to the game..There was a saying in racing that when in doubt back no. 1 because no.1 would always be the best horse in the handicap. As for George Mc Donalds comment re RF opposed to MR I have always argued that the MR system only favours the top horse and treats the more mediocre horse unfairly but as usual no one is listening.

  4. Wayne Fouche says:

    I have noticed that Hollywoodbets has never responded to the numerous requests to return to the tried and tested saddle cloth numbering. Is there a reason for the lack of response? I know that Devin responds very quickly and efficiently to complaints and comments on ABC so could we please request that he responds to these mails?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Wayne
      Graeme Hawkins said some time ago that the barrier draw/ saddle cloth numbering procedure was not going to be debated further.
      It’s a policy decision that was taken and they are standing by it.

  5. Chris Evans says:

    I have owned,bred and punted horses for more years than I can remember and was one of the biggest objectors to the saddle cloth/draw change.I am now used to it,love it and get irritated with venues who do not do it.Well done to Gold Circle for standing their ground

  6. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Chris, we go back from Racing Mirror days (
    1975), it surprises me that you are in favour of the draw/ number rule that applies in Natal, I agree fully with Hilton Witz, imagine Sea Cottage coming on parade with number 20 saddle cloth, absolute joke, keep well my friend.

  7. Rian Rix says:

    Hi Chris, what made you change your mind, I’ve enjoyed racing for many decades but hate it

  8. Steve Marshall says:

    http://www.gallop.co.za has added the ability to sort a field by number, MR or by weight so you can view fields however you want to. It also has the race replays of all KZN races included in a horse’s form.

  9. Chris Evans says:

    Thanks Selwyn.They were great days at Racing Mirror.Rian,maybe I am getting old.I just find picking out my backed horse so much easier from the jump and also have learnt that picking up the card and concentrating on the draws 1 to 7 round the turn influences my selections as much as weight does.

  10. Akesh singh says:

    Graeme Hawkins meant to say that it’s a sponsorship decision….policy what what anyways🤔.Picture publishing a soccer league table in alphabetical order🙄…that’s how I feel it’s like about looking at a race field. What’s the big deal about draws and saddlecloth being the same ,I don’t know.Surely you know where your fancy is drawn and can follow., like we did for years and decades All that remains now is for each horse to be carrying a prescribed silk to match the draw, in very race,😏. Pity that they don’t cross the line in draw order.

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