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Kenilworth Racing – Unity Is Strength

Bloomberg and Currie to lead

Kenilworth Racing has announced the appointment of Robert Bloomberg and Mark Currie as co-chairmen of the company.

The KR Board thanked the outgoing chairman, Chris van Niekerk, for his wise and diplomatic leadership spanning well over five years at the helm.

Robert Bloomberg

Robert Bloomberg – hope for the future

Robert Bloomberg is one of the two founding directors of KR – with Vidrik Thurling – with over three decades of experience in the industry serving on numerous committees and boards across a myriad of spectrums.

Mark Currie previously acted as a director of the Racing Association at the time of the KR demerger and renegotiation of the Stakes agreement. He presently sits on The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust (The Trust) that wholly owns KR, in which capacity he currently serves as chairman.

Following the resignations of Markus Jooste at the end of 2017, and in 2018 Vidrik Thurling, Hassen Adams and now Chris van Niekerk, coupled with the sad and untimely passing of Chris Gerber who had just come onto the KR Board, the Board has now taken on a whole new look with Robert Bloomberg and Mark Currie in fact being the only two remaining directors of the initial KR Board.

Mark Currie – plenty of experience

The Trust has the right to nominate 6 directors to the Board of KR and have designated Mark Currie, Bradley Ralph and Laurence Wernars with the right to nominate a further 3 directors in due course.

WPRRA has the right to nominate 3 directors and the present incumbents are Robert Bloomberg, Jonathan Snaith and Greg Bortz.

The Board of KR firmly believes that the unusual step of having co-chairmen is in the best interest of the Company and one which will promote unity between the North and the South which is vital to the flourishment and survival of both Western Cape racing and the horseracing industry in general.

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4 comments on “Kenilworth Racing – Unity Is Strength

  1. steve akunor says:

    Today turfffontein 3.30 pm . Mr. Lyle Hewitson awesome ride on Ever fair , amazing but at the line mr. Gavin Larena had a better horse

  2. Philip Goldberg says:

    I’m just looking at the present comments section(8.30Wednesday) on Kenilworth Racing – Unity is strength(0) compared with Goodman appointed to Telly Track(6). In fact there is 1 comment under “Kenilworth” , some guy talking about Turffontein 3.30pm (Hewitson/Lerena).
    It just shows you, the racing world is just not interested in Western Cape racing.
    That is a major problem the board will have over the next few years.
    I see the once a week center becoming a seasonal venue, with more local trainers setting up elsewhere.
    As you can see, a number of our bigger owners have already made the move.
    Just no interest or incentive to race and own in the Cape (except with a good one that can handle the summer season).
    The fact that they are making use of a co-chair already tells me there is trouble in paradise, so lets see how long that lasts.
    My money is on Currie leaving before Mourinho gets fired.

  3. John Kinsley says:

    Whilst I agree with Mr Goldberg regarding the out of place comment referring to the Turffontein 3:30 as well as the potential challenges facing the new Board, I cannot agree that the Cape will become a seasonal venue. As an owner/breeder I remain convinced that the Cape is home to the best horses in the country. If you want stats just look what happens when ex-Cape horses end up in another centre (e.g. Tsitsikamma Dance, and this is not meant to down-play in any way the outstanding training achievements of the Fortune yard in Gauteng).

    The winters may be wet and cold but for many immature horses this has proven to be a critical period for their longer-term development.

    The fact is that if we ever want to host a truly international race in SA there is only one place where we can feasibly do so – the Cape.

  4. T Mincione says:

    The irony is that the Cape is a powerful racing centre despite the comments of Mr Goldberg who has a particular view after many years of active participation at the coalface I suspect. And he’s probably right in many respects.

    However, just to put the relative strength of racing into some perspective, a single horse in the most recent Summer Cup could or had run in the Met (add now the recent winner), and in KZN they have their own problems in that they often struggle each year to get a horse or two into their own July were it not for a nudge here or there. We can debate that further if anyone wants to dispute this but first look at the Greenpoint Stakes, a Grade 2 season precursor, and I rest my case.

    That said, the punting populations are much stronger elsewhere. KZN certainly more vibrant and Gauteng vastly bigger as you would expect. The Western Cape old traditional money that likes to buy quality horses. They happily pay millions for individual yearlings but struggle to find 11 horses in a race. That top end power has been a part of Cape racing for so long it spilled into what is a high quality breeding region. There is tremendous depth and staying power there.

    I hope that the new directors will smell the coffee and come to the correct conclusions of where the Cape is strong, and where it is weak and not repeat the same recipes that deliver the same flops decade after decade. It’s not going to be easily even if it’s possible.

    Every centre seems to stand on three legs (supply/ownership of horses, operation and staging of the game, and betting), and need all three to pass individually. After that, the whole country needs all three centres, Gauteng (Phumelela), KZN and W.C. to each have a viable product (also individually). This especially since the model leans very heavily on overseas income which doesn’t care “how” the product gets to the screen as long as it does, on time, in full colour, and with enough integrity to not cause any hesitation in spending.

    Overlay all that with the traditional and even “colonial” ethos that the sport has, which has to be continually reintroduced into the real world where “colonial” just isn’t a good selling point. Tradition doesn’t get you far anymore either, both internally or externally (yet another debate).

    If you focus on the gambling, you lose the glamour and excitement that makes racing different from casinos and numbers, and if you forget the gambling you go bankrupt. What we do know is that what had worked before… is not necessarily going to work next.

    We also know that what works in the UK, or HK, or USA will not work here as a full import, and I would need to be convinced otherwise. Bits and pieces maybe, but not as a whole plan, because those are places where the traditional model has not been smashed. Gauteng may have time because of it’s size and momentum, and KZN it’s own time because of enthusiastic punters, but for once time is not a luxury in the Cape.

    There is an irony in the title of the article too: “Kenilworth Racing – Unity is Strength”. We will need the strength of national unity, which is hard to see post “capture apocalypse” and I hope the new and current custodians of the game can smell that above all else. The big wide world isn’t going to stop and wait while we get our shit, and ourselves, together.

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