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RECORD amounts are set to be bet on the country’s most popular horse race, the Vodacom Durban July at Greyville this Saturday.

Tote betting giant TAB opened pools on the big race meeting on Monday and has urged customers to take their bets early and avoid the last-minute rush. The tote betting system will process thousands of bets a minute in the last couple of hours before big race.

The TAB Win pool on the July is expected to top R12 million and with TAB paying Place dividends on the first six past the post, the Place pool is likely to reach R10 million.

As always, TAB pools will be huge on Africa’s biggest betting day of the year. The Quartet on the Durban July, in which the first four past the post in the correct order must be selected to win, starts with R1.2-million carryover and the total pool should be a massive R14 million.

A R4-million carryover to the Pick 6 pool on the Greyville meeting will entice hundreds of thousands of people to chance their luck at choosing the winners of Races 4 to 9. The total pool looks set to reach a record R15 million!

Betting with bookmakers is gathering momentum in the wake of the announcement of the final field last week and there has been solid support for French Navy, who has now displaced Black Arthur as outright favourite, available at 9-2. Star three-year-old filly Bela-Bela, trained at the Cape by Justin Snaith, is currently second favourite at 6-1..

There is also money for Solid Speed, whose odds have been clipped to 7-1.

Photo: French Navy, VDJ favourite.