The Sansui Summer Cup and the J&B Met are to be shuffled from their traditional calendar positions in response to requests from their sponsors.
In a move that speaks of an enlightened modern corporate approach of unprecedented co-operation by the stakeholders and a commercial flexibility not experienced often enough in horseracing, an across the board buy-in by all will add value to the bottom-line.
The R2 million Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup hosted by Gauteng will now run on the first Saturday of December.
The Summer Cup is nearly as old as Johannesburg itself. The first horserace in Johannesburg took place in December 1886 and the inaugural Summer Cup was run the following year.
Co- sponsor, the Gauteng Government, had a few reasons that they wanted to move the meeting on by a week but one in particular was that the Sansui Summer Cup clashed with the Metro FM awards, which normally attracts major players in Government and also a lot of celebrities.
The sponsor made the request to move the schedule on to accommodate all role players and to optimise attendance. This will also assist to level the playing fields if the Sansui Summer Cup is to compete with the Vodacom Durban July and the J&B Met.
The R2,5 million J&B Met, which is traditionally run on the last Saturday of January every year, will also be moved forward a week.
In response to a formal request from sponsors Brandhouse, the big Cape racing and social event will now run on the fifth Saturday of the year.
Brandhouse felt that optimum exposure would be achieved for all interested stakeholders.
The 2013J&B Met will take place on 2 February.
Phumelela Sales Executive Clyde Basel said that the calendar moves were only agreed after consultation with the fixtures committee, and all members were satisfied and agreed to meet the giant sponsors’ requests.
The fixtures committee also felt that since the Sansui Summer Cup was moving out later by one week, it would be appropriate that most of the Cape Sizzling Summer Season should also start one week later.
Feature races during December and January will be shuffled out by a week.
Basel said that it was planned to stage twelve races on J&B Met day with a probable start at 11h45 and ending a half-hour before sunset at 19h15.
He added that this should have the effect of creating more excitement on the day and allow for the horses to get even more exposure with all the first-timer racegoers that come racing that day.