Preparations for Africa’s biggest horse racing event are under way in Durban. The horse African Night Sky is this year’s Durban July favourite.
Over a century old tradition, the Durban July gallops gives the visiting horses an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the venue and grass.
The public also get the chance to decide on the horse which will make them a fortune.
Jockeys, trainers and the bookmakers have tipped African Night Sky to win this year’s July on Saturday.
Punters are expected to have a difficult time though, as this year’s competition is stiff.
But Bookmakers have set their sights on African Night Sky who is tipped to make a lot of money for betters.
Trainer Justin Snaith says, “The favourite is African Night Sky. He is certainly by far the ruling favourite and everything if things have gone right. He should be the horse that is going to take a lot of beating. I think my other contenders in the race like Do It Again, Made to Conquer, Illusive are very strong.”
Jockey 26 year-old Grant Van Niekerk says he’s under no pressure.
“There’s always pressure going into the Durban July, but the July is normally a hard race to win. That’s why I suppose it is the best race to win. I’m riding the favorite so I’ll go with confidence.”
2018 is a special year for Jockey 51 year-old Jeff Lloyd. He’s been riding for 35 years.
But the Durban July will be his swan song.
“The July is everything that the apprentices dream of when they start their career and I’m no different, trying for a long time still haven’t achieved but been close a lot and its great to be back and give it one last crack.”
Horse owners say they have done everything possible to win.
Race Horse owner, Nick Johnson says, “The real secret about racing is to expect the worse and hope for the best. So it’s really a tough race to win. It’s a true handicap.”
The Durban July takes place next week Saturday.