Race History

The Durban July is Africa's greatest horse race with a history spanning three centuries and, as you'd expect, some interesting trends have developed in that time.

Age of the Winners

Two-year-olds - One win only – in 1911.
Three-year-olds - 33 wins but 60% of the last 20 years.
Four-year-olds - 42 wins but 30% of the last 20 years.
Five-year-olds have taken the honours 26 times.
Six-year-olds - 11 have won, the last six-year-old winner was in 1980.
Seven-year-olds have won five times

Weight Carried

The lightest weight of 38,5kg was carried to victory by Nymagee in 1904 and Margin in 1916.
The heaviest weight of 66kg was carried to victory by Campanajo in 1898.

Since the distance of the race changed to 2200m in 1970, few horses carrying 55kgs or more have won.

Back-to-Back Wins

Only four horses have ever won the July Durban back-to-back and these are:

Campanajo (1897/98)
Corriecrian (1907/1908
Milesia Pride (1949/50)
El Picha (1999/2000)

Biggest and Smallest Fields

The maximum field size was increased in 2003 to 20. However, the biggest July field was in 1917, when 33 horses went to the start. On the other hand, the smallest July fields were in 1897 and 1908, when only seven horses ran.

Barrier Draw

The barrier draw used to play a significant role in the outcome of the July Durban with those drawn out widest being seriously disadvantaged. However, the cambering of the turn into the home straight has helped to negate the effect of the draw and the 2012 winner Pomodoro exited from stall 20, which is the widest of all.  In doing so, he became the seventh horse since 1917 to win from the extreme outside.


Market leaders have a patch record in recent years, which is not surprising given its open nature, with just three favourites obliging in the last 13 years. The shortest-priced winning favourite in the race's 107-year history was Sea Cottage, who obliged at odds of 11/10 in 1967. The honour of being the longest-priced winning favourite is shared by two horses: the 2006 winner Eyeofthetiger and the 1985 winner Gondolier, who both started at 6/1. However, Gondolier paid more for a One Rand win on the tote – R9.00 against the R7.40 returned by Eyeofthetiger.


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