Does Harness Racing really have more universal appeal than the high quality product from Hong Kong? In a letter received earlier this week, a reader writing under the pseudonym ‘Hong Kong Lover’, questions Saftote.
Phumelela Gold have kindly provided a response to the apparently valid question.
Can anyone tell me how SAFTOTE can make a decision like removing turnover generating racing like Hong Kong from our calendar, while still continuing with Australian Harness Racing which generate about R5 000 to R10 000 – that is going by the jackpot pools?
At least we have an interest with South Africans like Dougie Whyte, Tony Millard, David Ferraris, Weichong Marwing, and now Richard Fourie.
Could it be that they haven’t realised it has started already ?
Also no Hong Kong racing on the schedule for this month on their website.
Not a wonder that turnovers never improve!
Hong Kong Lover
John Stuart, International Executive Director of Phumelela Gold replies:
I’m sure that your reader will understand that for me to get into detail here is difficult because some of the information is commercially sensitive and we are in any event bound by confidentiality clauses in our agreements.
However what I will say is that we will always schedule the product that provides the best turnover for the South African horse racing industry. As such we would never replace flat racing with harness racing as it does approximately four times the turnover. In fact the Australian harness racing normally ends fifteen minutes before the Hong Kong meeting would normally start so they are not competing in the same time slot! The Hong Kong meeting in question was replaced by another flat meeting that would have generated more turnover.
In closure we would like to assure everyone out there that the schedule of racing that is produced for Tellytrack is designed to drive optimum turnover for the good of South African horse racing.