The Durban July is quite rightly known as “Africa's greatest race” and it never fails when it comes to drama, nerves and sheer excitement.
This year's July Durban will take place on Saturday 6 July at Greyville Racecourse with over 50,000 people expected to turn up on the day to watch the action first hand, while millions more will be watching on television.
Last year's renewal saw 20/1 shot Pomodoro get up in the final strides to pip outsider Smanjemanje (50/1) to give jockey Piere ‘Striker’ Strydom his third victory in the big race and the first for both trainer Sean Tarry and owner and breeder Chris van Niekerk.
The winner was not easy to predict and you would have needed a crystal ball to forecast the race 1-2, but those results are few and far between, thankfully, and the public and the punting community alike will be hoping for better success this time round.
As soon as the runners are known in mid-April, the search is on for the winner and the weights, which this year will be released on Tuesday 25 June, will be a huge determining factor on that score. The recent trend has been for the higher weighted horses to come out on top and it will be interesting to see how the handicapper rates this year's hopefuls.
The the traditional gallops that will take place at Greyville on Thursday 27 June will provide yet another piece to the jigsaw, and these will no doubt be analysed by the so-called experts, while you will also have your own opinions.
Nearer the time we will have previews of all the runners in the final field and of course those all-important tips, including our idea of the top four, so do please check back here – we might even put you on the winner of the 2013 July Durban!