The Greyville Racecourse in South Africa first held the Durban July in 1897. It has a 2,800m turf track and a 2,000m synthetic all-weather track that runs on the inside of the turf track. The polytrack has races every Friday night during the months of September through to April. The racecourse is also Durban’s oldest sports facility, and surrounds the Royal Durban Golf Club Championship course, which is on its infield.
The Greyville racecourse is not flat but has a peculiar gradient owing to a road that passes under the course connecting Berea to the city centre and a couple of subways that were also constructed to support the road. The racecourse is easily accessible as it is centrally located in the city.
Although the Durban July is the most hyped event on the race card, there are other races that take place under the floodlights: the Golden Slipper, the Golden Horseshoe, the Gold Vase and the Garden Province Stakes. This was the first racecourse to host floodlit races. The very first Sunday meet was also staged at Greyville in 1996.
Aside from the actual horseracing, Greyville has been said to be a lot like the Royal Ascot in Britain, characterized by a lot of food and fashion, popping of champagne and high street fashion that is centred more on flamboyancy than practicality. It does not end there; the Greyville Racecourse offers a whole lot more. There are conferencing and banqueting services with fourteen different venues that can host corporate functions, conferences and weddings ceremonies and receptions. There is also space for over 1200 exhibition stands in various places.
Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI and the Duke of Edinburgh are some of the dignitaries that have graced events at the Greyville Racecourse over the years.