The extensively anticipated shutdown of South African horseracing – in step with the nationwide three-week lockdown – was introduced late on Tuesday night time.
All different sport within the nation had been cancelled earlier, however racing had been persevering with behind closed doorways – with solely important individuals comparable to grooms and jockeys allowed on the nation’s eight racecourses.
Betting outlets and on-line punting remained in operation – targeted on live tv broadcasts of native and no matter abroad racing was obtainable. Online betting operations will proceed all through the 21-day lockdown – with choices together with Lotto-style quantity attracts.
In the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on Monday, saying the lockdown, the racing trade’s key gamers met to debate a method ahead.
The following press launch was disseminated on Tuesday:
“Leaders of the South African horseracing trade met this morning within the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nationwide lockdown announcement final night time and have fashioned a particular activity crew to navigate the game by means of the challenges offered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The activity crew includes representatives from Phumelela Gaming, Gold Circle, Kenilworth Racing, the Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority (NHA), which is charged with regulating the trade.
“Racing has been happening behind closed doorways since final week and in step with the president’s ruling final night time, the duty crew has confirmed that the race assembly on the Vaal this Thursday 26 March would be the final till additional discover.
“Industry betting outlets, together with TAB, Betting World, TABgold and Track & Ball shops, might be closed down tonight and tomorrow, and solely on-line and phone betting might be obtainable from Thursday.
“It is clearly vital that coaching centres nationally are in a position to function through the lockdown and the NHA has been tasked with urgently looking for affirmation from authorities that key people like monitor employees, trainers, jockeys, grooms, feed retailers, farriers and veterinary surgeons will be capable to entry coaching centres with out being prevented therefrom.
“In addition, the duty crew intends to satisfy soonest with the best ranges of presidency to hunt help in placing South African horseracing again onto a viable monetary footing and thus defending the livelihoods of tens of hundreds of individuals employed within the trade.
“Changes in provincial authorities laws and different well-publicised points have destroyed the trade’s funding mannequin and the virus-enforced lockdown has now put the way forward for your entire sport in danger.
“A spokesperson for the duty crew stated each endeavour could be made to renew racing when the present lockdown ends on 17 April, however that any such resumption would clearly happen behind closed doorways and conform to any restrictions and necessities laid down by Government.
“If racing does resume then, it’s deliberate to carry a significant raceday at Turffontein on Saturday 18 April, when the programme will comprise the perfect function races programmed through the lockdown interval, in addition to the Empress Club Stakes already scheduled for that day.
“In the Western Cape the Klawervlei Farm Sales Race programmed for 28 March at Durbanville can even should be rescheduled. In addition consideration might be given to rescheduling Listed races not run within the Eastern Cape through the lockdown.
“Unavoidably because of the loss in income arising from each soccer and horseracing closing down just about globally to retard the unfold of COVID-19, prize cash for minor races will in all probability should be decreased to maintain the trade afloat.
“Any such reductions will solely be carried out after full session with the Racing Association, which represents nearly all of racehorse house owners in South Africa.
Should racing not be capable to restart on the finish of the present lockdown interval and Champions Day, one of many massive 4 racedays on the nationwide calendar, can’t happen as scheduled on 2 May, it’s seemingly that each one function races not run because of the lockdown might be cancelled for this 12 months.
“The activity crew will convene twice weekly, or as required, for the foreseeable future in an effort to continually reassess the scenario and to regulate plans as required.
“These are powerful instances for South African horseracing and the nation as an entire. But racing has survived powerful instances earlier than by working collectively and can achieve this once more,” stated the spokesperson for the duty crew.
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live at 2020-03-25 10:11:22