Hollywoodbets Durban July reinvigorates tourism in Durban

Hollywoodbets' Brand Ambassador, Carol Tshabalala, in her galactic Scalo dress. Picture: Supplied

Hollywoodbets' Brand Ambassador, Carol Tshabalala, in her galactic Scalo dress. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 1, 2023


The long-awaited Hollywoodbets Durban July took punters, fashionistas and socialites on a journey out of this world once again this year at the Greyville Racecourse in Durban.

Durban, also known as Africa’s playground, was the perfect setting for the horse racing and social event with attendees enjoying a cool spring day in the middle of winter.

Despite parts of the city having faced heavy rains and a tornado, locals also turned out in their numbers to try their luck at the races. Law enforcement officers and security secured the event as promised by the eThekwini Municipality.

The first race of the day was dramatic and electrifying and kept punters at the edge of their seats with an almost draw, however, Betula came out victorious despite objections.

As constellations from galaxies out of the earth, local celebrities and fashionistas kept true to this year’s theme, ‘Out of this World’, with fashion from infinity and beyond.

Local celebrities spotted include Maps Maphalala, local Real Housewives star Jojo Robinson and husband Calvin Robsin, Kgomotso Ndungane and Odwa Ndungane, “Adulting” stars Thembinkosi Mthembu and Luthando Mthembu, Jessica Nkosi, Nadia Jaftha and Xavier Haupt.

Showmax’s Adulting stars Luthando Mthembu and Thembinkosi Mthembu. Picture: Supplied

Hollywoodbets Brand Ambassador Carol Tshabalala said, this year, just over 50 000 people attended the glitz event compared to a turnout of 30 000 last year.

She said horse racing is getting back to a place where it really belongs and loves the work that Hollywoodbets has done in reinvigorating the sport.

“This race, the Hollywoodbets Durban July has been a staple for so many years but I think just before Covid, there was a bit of a dip in popularity and the number of people that were coming out here.

“So you know Hollywoodbets, everything that they do it’s about glam, glitz, pizazz, great entertainment and great food,” said Tshabalala.

As a Hollywoodbets ambassador, Tshabalala, wore a purple mermaid gown keeping true to the host’s theme.

Jessica Nkosi looking lovely in her milky way themed gown. Postpartum where? Picture: Supplied

“Scalo is the designer who designed this outfit and we did say that it has to be a design that is out of this world,” she said.

Tshabalala said the intricate beading on her dress represents the stars and the galaxies and her fascinator from Anita Ferrera is reminiscent of the rings around Saturn.

When it comes to the atmosphere of the event, Tshabalala, said that the whole weekend has been unbelievable and she loves the fact that KZN and Durban are starting to become once again, the hub of sporting attractions.

Influencer couple Nadia Jaftha and Xavier Haupt. Picture: Supplied

“It’s reinvigorating tourism in Durban as well. Fantastic hosts! What a day so far,” said Tshabalala.

According to Tshabalala, when it comes to choosing a favourite horse for the day and the main race, she always tries to go against the grain in her picking.

“I always go against the grain because it's always very difficult for the favourite to win on the day, so I don’t know, I’m going to take a detour.

“Yes ‘See it Again’ is expected to win but I’m looking at Rain in Holland because uSmanga Khumalo is riding that horse. Puerto Manzano is another one of my favourites, look out for Pacaya and Winchester Mansion,” she said.