27.5.2020 04:53 pm
The billion-rand horse racing industry, employer of tens of thousands of people and hefty contributor to the national fiscus, continues to wait for an elusive character called Godot to arrive and give the go-ahead to race again after lockdown – thus saving jobs, saving horses’ lives, churning cash through the economy, distracting people from idle zol etc.
It waits, like a tatty tramp, as the Doom-spraying, snake oil-flogging, non-tax-paying religious industry has its prayers answered. The heavens spoke: “Gather thy flock together and spread the Covid … uh sorry, Word.”
Snaith Racing is helping racing folk fill their lockdown time with online polls about the good old days. This week the stable’s Twitter site is hosting the age-old argument: Who was South Africa’s greatest racehorse of all time (GOAT)?
The bottom line is: we still don’t know if horse racing will be allowed to restart on 1 May, as fervently hoped for. But hope lives on. It is what’s always sustained the game – through thick and thin, wins and losses, agony and ecstasy.
Dennis Bosch was in hot form when lockdown struck. During March, the Summerveld-based trainer saddled 13 horses and led seven of them into the winner’s circle – including Born To Perform after the grey’s victory in the Kings Cup at Greyville.
Postponing the 2020 Durban July from its traditional slot on the first Saturday of July to the last Saturday has prompted an array of questions about the great race. One being, has this happened before?
Former champion jockey Anthony Delpech has marked the second anniversary of the fall that ended his career with a poignant social media post.
Red Rum is probably the most famous name in horse racing. He made that name over jumps, which isn’t as globally popular as flat turf racing, but the horse had so much heart and charisma that the whole world came to revere him.
Sol Kerzner’s fondness for the grand gesture was legendary and obituaries published after his recent death enumerated many of them.
Two of the most important families in horse racing, the Ruperts and the Oppenheimers, have set an example to SA’s wealthy by contributing R1 billion each to the Solidarity Fund set up to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Things are moving faster than great sprinter Senor Santa as the coronavirus panic escalates. It’s become pointless to try to keep up with all the latest postponements and cancellations. It’s easiest to just assume that everything is off.
There were few surprises in the coronavirus measures announced by South African horse racing’s assembled officials late on Monday afternoon.
Racing-mad Hong Kong is clearly recovering from its dose of Covid-19. The local Jockey Club is gradually allowing more people to attend the races – beyond the 500 essential connections that have been the only people on course at Sha Tin and Happy Valley over the past three weeks.
Animal welfare is a bogeyman for horse racing. It lurks in the shadows and everyone is petrified of it leaping out in some form or other and causing bad things to happen.
The great stallion A.P. Indy, who died recently at the grand old age of 31, built his legacy on just one testicle.
The ARF Commemorative Cape Derby at Kenilworth on Saturday rings down the curtain on Cape Town’s racing summer – a season that will linger long in the memory thanks to stellar performances by a generation of exceptional racehorses.