South African Horseracing

This is a tribute website operated by Please note we are not affiliated to any one racecourse or group of racecourses.

There is a strong culture and tradition of many sports in South Africa. A land full of contrasts the opportunities for outdoor sports and pursuits are particularly numerous and among these, horseracing holds a place dear to the hearts of many.

South African horseracing dates back to the latter part of the 18th century with the first race club meeting held in 1802 and continues today to draw crowds who appreciate the finest traditions of the sport; a chance to dress up, to socialise and to enjoy the finest racing on the African continent.

There are two governing bodies for South African horseracing, Gold Circle, and Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited, each with the responsibility for certain areas of the country.

Gold Circle governs the courses in Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape while Phumelela controls those in Eastern Cape and Gauteng, Northern Cape, and the Free State.

Of the dozen courses found throughout the country three are located in the three largest cities and are of particular importance.

These are Turffontein in Johannesburg, Greyville Turf Club in Durban, and Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town.

The big three certainly draw the biggest crowds but they also host the most important races. Kenilworth is home to the Grade I J&B Met, held in January and one of the biggest events in summer racing. Attended by some 50,000 racegoers the event is a real highlight for entertainment, high fashion and of course the finest South African horseracing. In addition to the vantage points provided by the grandstand there is a 5000 capacity marquee erected for the event and a great many picnic sites to allow everyone to enjoy the thrill of the main event.

The other big event in summer racing is the Summer Cup held at Turffontein, the venue also for the South African Derby.

The main winter event is the Durban July, a race held since 1897. Regarded as the greatest racing event in the African continent, the first Saturday in July for race fans means a trip to Greyville for the highlight of the racing calendar.

Although the course can accommodate 56,000 people, reservations are recommended for the Durban July for the best race views. Those who simply turn up on the day will not however be disappointed and can soak up the great race day atmosphere and dine within a series of first come first served restaurant facilities.
South African Horseracing, inside rail

The Durban July is the South African equivalent of Royal Ascot where for many the social aspects and fashions are as important as the races. In addition to the main race over 2.2km there are other races on the day ranging from the 1.4km Golden Horseshoe to the 3km Gold Vase. The last races are held under floodlights and parties go on long after the racing is over. Other popular venues for South African horseracing include Arlington Race Course in Eastern Cape and Bloemfontein Race course in the Free State, giving plenty of opportunities for race fans wherever they are in South Africa.

South African Horseracing, winner All the classic elements of race day are evident in South African Horseracing, from the fine dining environments to private boxes and suites in which to entertain business clients and friends.

A range of hospitality packages are available to suit any size of group or party and inclusive packages are available for anyone wishing to make the most of the day, from the drinks and dining options to betting.

Hospitality at the Races probably isn’t as expensive as you think!“Do it in style”, there's nothing nicer than being waited on royally during your day at the races!
Betting is controlled by Saftote with many tote based outlets on site for convenient access. Whether for the quality of the racing, the hospitality, or simply to have a fun day out with friends or family horseracing in South Africa provides the ideal leisure experience.