2018 Durban July final field – Entrants, draw and weights announced for South Africa’s biggest handicap

Jonathan Vine in Latest News 26 Jun 2018
A view from the stands of the Durban July.

The final field, draw and weights have been announced for South Africa’s biggest handicap on Saturday 7th July.

Britain has the Grand National, Australia has the Melbourne Cup, but in South Africa, the biggest handicap of the season is undoubtedly the Durban July. Some of South Africa’s most famous horses have claimed victory in this race during it’s long, storied history and the final field for the 2018 renewal has been revealed.

2014 winning trainer, Justin Snaith saddles five of the 18 confirmed entrants, with many people feeling Cup Trial winner, African Night Sky is the most dangerous of his quintet. Sean Tarry has won this race once more than his main rival and Tilbury Fort will be the leading contender from Tarry’s yard.

It’s been a troubled build-up to the Durban July for Mike De Kock, who’s facing the possibility of closure after staff went on strike. A fifth victory in this lucrative handicap would help take his mind off those troubles for a while and Yakeen will lead his charge, having beaten Tilbury Fort to the Jubilee Handicap earlier in the campaign.

Coral Fever’s victory in the Premier’s Champion Challenge means he will shoulder top weight in the Durban July, with South African Oaks queen, Secret Potion sneaking in at the opposite end of the scales. 

Whilst there are qualification races for the Durban July, race organisers have the power to exclude any horse they feel does not warrant inclusion. There has been much consternation surrounding the decision to overlooked Sabina’s Destiny and SA Derby winner It’s My Turn, who have done what several entrants have failed to do this season and claim prestigious Grouped victories.

2018 Durban July Confirmed Field



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2018 Durban July final field – Entrants, draw and weights announced for South Africa’s biggest handicap

The final field, draw and weights have been announced for South Africa’s biggest handicap on Saturday 7th July.

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