The usually much-anticipated Vodacom Durban July is being held behind closed doors for a second year.

This is the one hundred and 25th edition of the VDJ – the premier horse-racing event that normally showcases fashion, fillies and festivities.

Due to lockdown 4 regulations all social gatherings have been banned to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Goldcircle event and marketing executive, Steve Marshall, says because of COVID-19 regulations only a limited number of people are allowed.

“No public on course even the owners this year aren’t able to attend due to the restriction on gatherings, however, from the racing perspective everything is going ahead as planned. Last year, we had to delay the event by three weeks. This year, we’re back to our traditional spot at the beginning of July at least. The whole racing programme here in KwaZulu-Natal started at the beginning of May and has built up now to the Vodacom Durban July which is the pinnacle event of our season.”

Meanwhile, Marshall says only 18 horses will compete for R2 million stakes, a substantial decrease as compared to previous years.

“We have far more horses subscribed or prescribed to try and compete in this race and to be nominated initially and we had to whittle it down to just 18 runners this year we also have two reserves so if any of those 18 runners are scratched the reserve runners will have to come in so we will have a full field of 18 runners.”