Gold Circle’s Racing Executive Raf Sheik has expressed his delight with the quality of entries received for the R5-million Hollywoodbets Durban July, “The response from owners and trainers across the country has been phenomenal. The 68 entries received include 13 individual Grade 1 winners as well as 3 former winners of this great race. The depth of talent amongst the early entries is most pleasing and it will be exciting to follow their progress over the next two months.”
Given the massive prize money on offer this year, the outcome of the HDJ could go a long way to deciding the Trainers’ Championship. Currently trailing Highveld-based Paul Peter by quite some margin, Snaith will be looking to secure the lion’s share of the R5-million purse to overhaul his in-form rival. Victory for Justin Snaith would also bring him within one winner of the great Syd Laird who holds the record with 7 “July” victories.
Paul Peter has entered 9 horses for the HDJ but it’s fair to say that most of these have much to prove if they are to make the cut for the final field of 18 runners. His highest rated runner, MK’s Pride by Willow Magic, recently won the Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m.
“It’s a great honour and privilege to have the Hollywoodbets brand associated with an iconic horseracing event that is recognised across the globe. We have already seen major interest in the ante-post betting market, and there will be some value to be found amongst the first entries. The real fun commences in a matter of weeks as Champions Season gets underway,” enthused Hollywoodbets Brand & Communications Manager, Devin Heffer.