Equus Champion Do It Again stamped his claims to being named South Africa’s Horse Of The Year for 2018-2019 when he captured the G1 Vodacom Durban July on Saturday –for a second year in a row.

The son of Twice Over defied top weight of 60kgs to prevail in a thrilling finish to the R4.25 million race and confirmed his status as the best horse currently racing in South Africa.

However, the 2019 G1 Vodacom Durban July was marred when favourite Hawwaam was scratched from the race after proving very fractious in the starting stalls.

Return Flight went out to set pedestrian fractions, with the champion Pomodoro filly making the running from Head Honcho and Twist Of Fate.

The Tarry trained filly kept going until the top of the Hollywoodbets Greyville straight, when she compounded to finish among the also runs.

The 2019 G1 Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge had appeared unlucky when third to Do It Again in the G1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge hit the front 300m and looked a hard horse to beat, before the defending July winning champion Do It Again, under jockey Richard Fourie, appeared late on the scene and Do It Again went on to prevail by less than half a length.

Top 3yo Twist Of Fate, second to the scratched Hawwaam in the recent G1 Daily News 2000, confirmed his class by taking third spot, less than two lengths off the winner, with dual G1 winner Eyes Wide Open finishing fourth.

Do It Again, who won the 2019 Vodacom Durban July in a time of 135.04, had appeared unlucky when second to Rainbow Bridge in the Sun Met, and duly confirmed this impression with his victory in Saturday’s big race.

Bred by the Northfields Stud, the Justin Snaith trained gelding is the first since El Picha to win the July two years in a row.

Do It Again, who was produced by the triple G3 winner Sweet Virginia, has now won seven of his 13 races for earnings of R8 410 000.

Images: Candiese Marnewick, Footage: Gold Circle