Flamingo Park Racecourse will stage its last meeting on Monday 9 December 2019.
“The decision is based purely on commercial factors,” explained Phumelela Racing executive Patrick Davis on Thursday.
“A financial analysis conducted on Kimberley Racing in isolation from the other racecourses indicated it was losing around R23.5 million a year. It has the lowest TAB turnover of any local race meeting at around R3 million.
“It is also one of the least cost-effective meetings to stage as we have to bring in people like stipes, judges, etc, from other centres.
“The last race meeting will take place on Monday 9 December after which Flamingo Park will close as both a training facility and a racecourse.”
Davis and Racing Association CEO Larry Wainstein went to Kimberley to discuss the move with the Kimberley trainers and their staff, also assuring them they would not be left in the lurch.
“Phumelela will support the trainers and all their grooms to relocate to another venue. Over the next month or so we will be in discussions as to where they wish to move. The options are the Vaal, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town,” said Davis.
“The general consensus is that they will go in different directions.”
As a result of the closure, the 2020 fixture list has been rejuggled to accommodate 20 of those 36 meetings. The plan is they will be held at either the Vaal or Port Elizabeth and will be programmed with Kimberley-level stakes and race programmes.
“We will also include some kind of protection clause for former Kimberley-based trainers at those extra meetings,” said Davis.