We take a look at the contenders for the 115th running of the July Handicap, which takes place at Greyville this Saturday and give our expert tips ahead of the contest.
Get a free bet on the Durban July and watch all the action from Greyville live online on Betfair TV.
1 (drawn 13) Pierre Jourdan (trainer G Alexander/jockey R Fradd)- Runner-up last year to Igugu, must have a chance but second run after a rest is a slight worry. Biggest stake earner in the race.
2 (15) Tales of Bravery (V Marshall/F Coetzee)- Ran 8th last year, badly drawn this year and not sure to stay.
3 (18) Castlethorpe (M Bass/K Nesius)- One of three runners for the Bass stable, definitely not the stable elect. Badly drawn, often a slow starter. No chance.
4 (12) Beach Beauty (D Drier/S Cormack)- Good prep win in the Greyville 1900, ran 5th last year and is better off at the weights than Pierre Jourdan. Loves Greyville (three wins and a second from 4 starts), massive chance and I cannot see her being out the frame.
5 (10) Chesalon (M Bass/J Lloyd)- Would prefer a bit of cut in the ground, Jeff Lloyd flies in from Australia to ride (hunting his 1st July win). Not without a chance but not for me.
6 (16) Jackson (B Crawford/K Teetan)- The favourite currently at 7/4, has all the credentials as a champion 3-year-old whose mission has been this race. Badly drawn and has a big weight for a 3-year-old. For me will be running on at the death but too late and a lay on the day.
7 (3) Polar Bound (B Crawford/S Randolph)- Held on loads of runs against lots of different horses in this race. No chance.
8 (11) Smanjemanje (T Zackey/G van Niekerk)- Tilting at windmills and not sure to stay, either.
9 (9) English Garden (M Bass/B Faydherbe)- For me the Bass stable elect. Good 3rd last year, loves Greyville, well drawn, and must have every chance.
10 (17) Top Seller (V Marshall/M Byleveld)- Had a long layoff last year due to injury. Often flatters to deceive, never won at Greyville, badly drawn. Hard to fancy for me.
11 (2) Gold Onyx (S Tarry/G Lerena)- Has won at Greyville. Well drawn but that doesn't necessarily suit as he comes from off the pace. Don't believe he's in the same class as some of these.
12 (14) Solo Traveller (M De Kock/M Yeni)- Will need to settle to have any chance. Looks to be the stable's 4th choice, outside place chance if blinkers fitted 1st time help.
13 (4) Sage Throne (C Scott/R Fourie)- Not in the same class as this field.
14 (20) Pomodoro (S Tarry/P Strydom)- Drawn in the car park, not even 'Striker' Strydom can help him.
15 (7) Royal Bencher (A Laird/B Lerena)- Often slow away, this 3 year old has bitten off more than he can chew, would be favourite to run last in my book.
16 (8) Vettel (M De Kock/A Marcus)- Has a champion jockey and world-class trainer on side. Never been unplaced in eight starts, good 2nd to the favourite Jackson last run, better off at the weights. Has never won at Greyville, has been campaigning over longer trips, believe he will mature into a good horse but a lay for me this year.
17 (6) Gorongosa (M De Kock/K Shea)- This daughter of Montjeu has never been unplaced in her 12 starts, including 9 wins, 2 of them at Greyville. She has been campaigning over longer distances and if the drop in trip does not inconvenience, expect a big run.
18 (19) Ilha Bela (M De Kock/A Delpech)- Another one drawn in the car park, she does come from off the pace so should not prove disastrous. Promising prep run behind her stable-companion last start, another who will be running on late. Stable jockey has chosen her. For me, though, only a place chance.
19 (1) Whiteline Fever (S Tarry) R Danielson -Coming along the right way, given an easy race last start to boost his confidence. Not sure if he is good enough, but with a plum draw and low weight wouldn't surprise me with a big run.
20-5 Eton Square ( G van Zyl) G Hatt- Lucky to get into the race, has only raced 4 times and is out at the handicap. Looks to be a bridge too far so early in his career.
It looks set to be a cracking 115th running of the July Handicap, South Africa's richest race, not only in terms of the prize money but the glory and kudos that come with this prestigious race. Last year's winner Igugu will not be defending her title as she is on her way to Dubai, with her aim probably the World Cup in 2013.
I'm not sure where the pace will come from in this race, there are no confirmed front runners. With lots of the fancied horses drawn wide and a number of late closers in the race it might pay to race handy and let the closers worry about the traffic problems in the short Greyville straight. I envisage Marcus on Vettel to break, go to the front and slow it down. Teetan on Jackson will have to decide: try and get near the front from the bad draw of 16, race wide or tuck in and hope for a clear passage in the straight. The last horse to win from stall gate 16 was Jamaican Music in 1976. Also, since 1970 only seven horses have carried more than 55kg to win, Jackson carries 57kg.
Watch the race live on Betfair Live Video, not only this race but all South African racing. There are 6 graded races on Saturday's card, starting at 10:35 UK time.
Selections for the July Handicap
1st- Beach Beauty
Jackson and Vettel, both win lay on Betfair
in the Durban July, Saturday 16:20 (BST).