On Saturday, 4 July 2009, the Greyville Racecourse in Durban, South Africa, came alive with spectacular fashion and world class live horse racing. It is probably the most prestigious racing event in the country and draws a capacity crowd of just over fifty thousand spectators each year. This year was no different, as beautiful women and stylish men filed through the gates to bear witness to the 2009 Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July. And with a purse of R3 million, the best horses in the country were in the starting gates and ready for action.
One horse in particular was on the minds of every horse racing fan at the racecourse, namely Pocket Power. So much expectation had been placed on the shoulders of this mighty horse, who is considered to be the ultimate champion in South Africa at present. With spectacular winning performances leading up to the Durban July and with being a consecutive winner of the J & B Met, another big local horse racing event, few had doubt in their minds that Pocket Power would walk away the winner of the event.
But, as many in the horse racing industry know, nothing is cast in stone until the first horse crossed the finish line, and on Saturday, to the great disappointment of many, Pocket Power did not run home victoriously in the Durban July, and had such a bad race that he did not even place. Which raises the question, if this talented horse merely had a bad day at the races, or if he simply could not handle the pressure? He still remains a champion horse, and his fans will be supporting him whole heartedly in his next event, as everyone understands that no athlete can perform at their best all the time. Big City Life however ended up being the better horse on the day.
Trained by well known trainer Glenn Kotzen, jockey Greg Cheyne was in the saddle to steer the talented Big City Life to the winning position in the Durban July. Zirconeum followed Big City Life home in second, followed by Forest Path in third and fourth position going to Thundering Jet. But amidst the jubilation, disappointment and heart stopping action, it was another successful day at Greyville Racecourse, and next year July, the horses of South Africa will again draw fans and spectators, and create another day to remember.