Durban - Power King, ridden by jockey Stuart Randolph swept to victory in front of a crowd of 60 000 in the
R3.5mln title race in the 119th running of the Vodacom Durban July on Saturday.
Tense moments followed the
electric win with a race review, with punters urged to hang onto their tickets.
Gold Circle racing analyst
Warren Lenferno had predicted that it would be a close run between No.2 Wylie
Hall and No.10 Legal Eagle, insisting that a reverse was not an outside
He had placed both No.5 Majmu
and No.1 Futura.
Over R100m is expected to be
paid out in winning bets, and the pend on betting on course and off-course will
top R220m, with the French tote formally co-mingling with the local tote for
the main race for the first time.
Celebrities and the who’s who of
South Africa’s upper echelon descended on the lush race course.
The Vodacom Durban July itself
contributes over R220m in direct spend into the local economy, most of which
emanates from the Gauteng visitors who drive down for the weekend, making up
more than half of the 55 000 strong crowd at Greyville Racecourse, and
contributing over R150m just through transport, accommodation, tickets,
entertainment, restaurants and clothing for the event.
Several races will still be run
in the evening’s line-up.