VERCINGETORIX, who won the KRA Guineas and is the ruling Vodacom Durban July favourite, means “great warrior king” and the colt was named by Johann Du Plessis, who names all of Klawervlei’s progeny.
“Ver” means superior, “Cingetor” means warrior and “Rix” means king.
Vercingetorix, a great Gaullish chief of 50 BC, defeated Caesour’s forces in the Battle Of Gergova.
The horse was cleverly named as he is by the leading sire Silvano, which is the Latin name for wood, and this stallion hails from the France and Germany areas of the days of Caesour.
Vercingetorix after the KRA Guineas.
Years ending in three have virtually always seen milestone winners of the July.
In 1903 Peerless became the first ever filly to win the race.
She is also the only ever July winning filly to produce a July winner.
Her son Nobleman, winner in 1911, remains the only two-year-old to have won the July.
A hundred years ago in 1913 the legendary trainer Fred Murray won the race with Caged Bird to complete four successive July victories, a record that still stands.
In 1923 trainer Jim Russell equalled Murray’s record of four winners, although they weren’t in succession.
In 1933 Legacy became only the second Pietermaritzburg horse to win the July.
In 1943 with the War at its height, the first “substitute” race was held for a lesser purse and was called the Durban Winter Handicap.
In 1953 Flash On completed a Summer Handicap-July double in the same year, a remarkable feat for a three-year-old.
In 1963, the great Colorado King won, the second of Syd Laird’s seven wins.
In 1973 Laird increased his number of July winners to six with Yataghan.
In 1983 trainer Terrance Millard landed the first of his six victories over the period of a mere eight years when the filly Tecla Bluff won.
In 1993 current champion jockey Anton Marcus had the first of his record-equalling four victories when Dancing Duel won.
In 2003, Dynasty produced arguably the greatest performance in the history of the race.
Will 2013 be another milestone year, with Mike de Kock’s fifth July victor being the first winner to be sold by a co-operative?