With the recent announcement of stakes being cut in races across the board, and various feature races possibly lost due to the current lockdown, it remains important to focus on the positive aspects of recent changes.
The recent stakes cut will be devastating in the immediate future, but it must be considered highly encouraging that the racing operators remain committed to sustaining horse-racing in South Africa.
The Racing Association, who are contributing R13.1 million towards stakes in both the Phumelela and Western Cape regions, are stepping up to the plate in playing an important role in ensuring the sport continues after lockdown is lifted.
Even more importantly, and most encouraging perhaps of all recent events, it is extremely heartening to see racing unite, and all the major bodies stand tall in their efforts to ensure racing can take place as soon as possible.
The Racing Operators plan to increase stakes as soon as they are able, which is a silver lining indeed.
In these increasingly uncertain, and alarming, times, Sean would like to pay tribute and thank both his staff, for their ongoing commitment and hard-work, and his loyal and supportive owners. Despite getting the short straw of things with regards to stake reduction and loss of various race meetings, the Tarry yard’s owners have remained strong and unwavering in their committment to backing the future of racing. Without them, racing would not exist, and kudos must go to all owners who keep faith in such testing times.
The staff back home have done a stirling job with the horses, who are fit and ready to go when racing does recommence.
With racing keen to go ahead, racecourses and various racing operatives will surely look to their respective laurels in order to keep racing as safe as possible when the sport eventually resumes (provisionally, racing is expected to start on May 1st). Racing behind closed doors, with the minimum of staff on hand, it is surely hopeful that the sport can get going again early next month.
Thanks must go out to all racing’s essential providers, ie, grooms, vets, farriers, work-riders, whose hard work and continued efforts ensure racing will be able to pick up when the sport is given the go-ahead by the government.
While these days remain dark and uncertain, plenty of good could still emerge from this period, should everyone play the part he or she has been assigned.
Horse-racing has overcome many tough times in the past, and the Sport Of Kings will overcome COVID-19 as well.