Marinaresco, after all, was an outsider. Many had pinned their hopes on the likes of Edict of Nantes and Al Sahem, which were among the favourites.
But despite losing money, some racegoers said it was not just the betting that drew them to Greyville, but also the atmosphere on the field.
For Gene Meth from Montclair, it’s an event he attends every year.
Meth was spending R2600 on horse number 13 - Al Sahem - for the main race.
“I have never missed a race meeting, let alone the Durban Vodacom July. It’s just the place to be,” he added.
First-timers at the race course, Mershin Naidoo and his friend Nikhil Singh, both from Phoenix, said it was the eclectic vibe that made them go to the Durban July.
“This is an amazing experience. Everyone is so chilled and happy. The vibe here is one of fun and entertainment. It is our first experience and one we will remember. We certainly plan on coming back next year,” Naidoo said.
Sisters Rose Archary and Kamini Naidu of uMhlanga said they came to enjoy a beautiful day at the course.
“We are betting for both Edict of Nantes (12) and Al Sahem (13) for the main race. We like their spectacular physiques,” Naidu said.
Andrew Barnet, who is originally from Durban but works in the Middle East, said he put his money on Al Sahem. “I have decided to put my money on this horse because it has an Arabic name. But I am only spending R100 on the horse racing.”
Two friends from Ballito, Shaun du Toit and Ryan Meyer, said they expected a huge crowd for the main race. “I have spent R1000 on the main race. My favourite horses are Edict of Nantes and Al Sahem,” Meyer said.
Colin Muniappen from Chatsworth said he had bet R1000 on last year’s winner, Conglomerate.
“I believe she can repeat her success this year. She looks good and strong,” he said.