There is little doubt that when it comes to the play-off for adding value to horseracing in South Africa, Gold Circle tend to hold the upper-hand over the mercenary number crunching forces at play in Phumelela territory.
We just get the idea that the pursuit of the protection of the ethos of the sport down Durban way is more driven and genuinely well intended than anywhere else – which ground happens to be governed by Phumelela.
With their sectional timing plans – trumpeted as going live for the 2016 July – now accepted as a non-event, Gold Circle have set out to create transparency initiatives designed to boost flagging tote turnovers and give punters the tools to find more winners, and recreate the long lost delusion of the ‘brain game’. Tools are good – screwdrivers are easy to use, but hammer drills and angle grinders need guidance!
First up was Gold Circle’s trainer first-timer comment publication.
This soon hit a rocky path as trainers are on a hiding to nothing and some connections value their inside information. One PE trainer was quoted as telling the Gold Circle official that ‘You may phone me when Gold Circle pays my rent’.
Champion Sean Tarry also declined to contribute, suggesting that whoever compiles the information has first access. “So the info will always remain the property of that person or a select few around him who can use it before it is disseminated to the public,” cautioned Tarry.
So the initiative lost much of its momentum.
It has since been revived by Phumelela and the NRB as a requirement when trainers accept with first-timers and rested horses. So it is now more formal and ‘legislated’ – and Phumelela’s Rob Scott has undertaken to provide all publications with this information in due course.
Now Barrier Trials are under the cosh. Are they working? Are they worth the effort? How should they be interpreted?
Mitra Music won the Pick 6 opener at Greyville on Wednesday. She finished over 12 lengths back in her barrier trial a month ago.
Watch Mitra Music’s Barrier Trial:
As an overseas journalist summed it up recently:
Even when a horse wins a trial it can be one of the most misleading pieces of information available to the man iin the street. The bare fact of a trial win ranks right up there with third hand tips from a Facebook post from a brother’s mate’s ex-colleague who allegedly played social football with Ryan Moore and decided to share his goodwill with the world.