WITH over 50 000 people expected at Greyville Racecourse for the 2015 Vodacom Durban July on Saturday, the team at Gold Circle is gearing up to ensure the needs of the thousands of horse racing fans in the marquees, suites, picnic sites and the grandstands are met in a style befitting Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event.
While the thoroughbreds bask in the limelight on the track, behind the scenes there’s an army of dedicated staff furiously cooking meals, serving up an array of beverages and manning the hospitality venues to ensure the masses of eager racegoers receive the best racing experience on the continent.
A favourite for guests desiring an exclusive race day experience are the VIP and VVIP marquees in the fabled Marquee Village. Their bespoke decor and private facilities, like a foot spa and massage, hair and make-up touch up stations, photo booths and selfie stations are just some of the perks available.
Service is paramount in the luxury hospitality options. Almost one thousand committed staff will attend to the guests of one particular luxurious marquee set-up on the golf course, with a waitron per table dedicated to their needs.
Guests can watch all the racing action on plasma TV’s from the luxury of their marquees while sipping on some bubbly, with tens of thousands of other beverages being served. Performances by household name musicians and DJs plus the high chance of bumping into local celebrities make these venues a first class option.
Another popular hospitality marquee boasts almost 100m of fully stocked bars while others offer private viewing balconies.
The Marquee Village now boasts three double-decker marquees, making it the biggest event hospitality village on the African continent.
While the well-heeled punters soak up the opulence of their luxurious suites and marquees, plenty of regular racegoers enjoy the ‘July Fever’ alongside the track or in the grandstands or while munching on a full lunch or a buffet meal at Gold Circle’s various sit-down venues.
Undoubtedly the biggest event on South Africa’s racing calendar, the company’s catering department plans way in advance to provide countless meals to satisfy even the hungriest racegoer.
From Thursday onwards 40 chefs will be carefully preparing to make over 15 000 meals for the big day. Their work ethic amps up on the Friday with an 11 hour work day, and then they’re up at 1am on race day to ensure all meals are ready and prepped for the thousands of feet passing through their restaurant doors and other food outlets.
A steady stream of 390 waiters and barmen serve up 17 000 bottles of beer, 256 000 containers of minerals, 2 500 bottles of spirits and 900 bottles of wine to thirsty patrons. The catering manager also orders an additional 80 litres of orange juice as well as 450 litres of milk to accompany the countless cups of coffee and tea to serve up to the thirsty guests.
A definite culinary highlight for many, 8 000 delicious portions of curry and rice are lovingly cooked for the hungry guests and are made up of 2 200kg of meat, 750kg of chicken, 280kg of prawns and 300kg of crayfish. A horse-racing event in a coastal town wouldn’t be complete without some delectable seafood, the 2 600 delicate pieces of sushi and 1 200 oysters going down a treat.
For those diners looking for something a little more familiar on their plates the hardworking kitchen also serves up 2 500 pies, 2 000 hamburgers and 350 litres of ice cream for dessert.
And all those extras required to complement the mouth-watering meals Gold Circle orders in 7 000 bread rolls, 80kg of butter, 100 dozen eggs, 150kg of mushrooms, 120 pockets of potatoes and 280kg of cheese, 20 pockets of sugar, and 550kg of steaming rice – and this is just for the facilities that fall directly under Greyville Racecourse.
Whatever hospitality option racegoers choose for the grand event, they’re sure to leave feeling well and truly satisfied.
More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za