Class entry for Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge with Durban July ticket at stake

FILE - General view of the Greyville Racecourse in Durban, home of the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Photo: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

FILE - General view of the Greyville Racecourse in Durban, home of the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Photo: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 3, 2023


Cape Town — The prestigious Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge will be a final golden ticket opportunity for some of South Africa's finest thoroughbreds to be part of Africa’s Greatest Horseracing event on 1 July.

The 52nd running of the R1.75-million Gr1 race at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, June 10, will see some of South Africa’s most-watched milers clash.

The stellar line-up includes superstar miler Charles Dickens and L’Ormarins Kings Plate winner, Al Muthana along with a host of July hopefuls, including Rascallion, Cousin Casey and Zapatillas. They are all out for a shot to win South African racing’s ultimate trophy.

Last year's winner, Al Muthana will be defending his Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge crown and the likely race-day favourite is Charles Dickens.

The June 10 event will also be the final boarding call for the classy Shoemaker in his bid to qualify for the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

The reigning Hollywoodbets Durban July ante-post favourite See It Again’s sterling performance to win the Gr1 Daily News 2000 has further entrenched the son of Twice Over’s position at the top of the betting boards.

See It Again is currently trading at 33/10 in the ante-post market with the leading South African betting operator Hollywoodbets.

The Gr1 Daily News 2000 and Gr1 Woolavington 2000 (both run on 27 May) are two of the Hollywoodbets Durban July’s ‘win-and-you-are-in’ events, where See It Again and Rain In Holland caught the eye to stake their claims for South African racing’s ultimate trophy on Saturday 1 July.

Both races have historically been key pointers into the Gr1 Hollywoodbets Durban July and See It Again will look to emulate the likes of Dynasty (2003), Big City Life (2009) and Legislate (2014) if he lands the double.

The Australian-born Igugu won in 2011 and was the last Woolavington winner to complete the double, but Rain In Holland is trained by multiple July winner Sean Tarry, which undoubtedly boosts her chances.

Veteran champion jockey Piere Strydom is expected to ride See It Again as he seeks the opportunity to equal Anton Marcus’ five-winner benchmark. Strydom previously won the Durban July on London News (1996), Trademark (2001), Pomodoro (2012) and The Conglomerate (2016).

The record shows that 23 of the original sixty-strong entry have now fallen by the wayside leaving 37 hopefuls in the ante-post betting market.

Notable nominations include two-time winner Do It Again, Safe Passage which placed 3rd last year and recent WSB Greyville 1900 winner, Pacaya.

There is one final guaranteed ‘golden ticket' up for grabs next Saturday when the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse will live up to its magical moniker of the Theatre Of Champions.

The race day at Hollywoodbets Greyville promises to be one for the ages, with top-quality horseracing and entertainment for the whole family.


IOL Sport