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Durbanville Election Day – Bloomberg Clarifies

Government requested that meeting not be held

The cancellation of Wednesday’s scheduled Election Day meeting a Durbanville has evoked plenty of reaction from the public and stakeholders.

Kenilworth Racing Chairman Robert Bloomberg has issued a statement in order to clarify the situation.

Kenilworth Racing Chairman Robert Bloomberg

He writes:

Due to all sorts of innuendos and falsities flying around, it is incumbent upon me to set the record straight.

Following the protest action at Turffontein on Saturday, I wrote to management expressing for a variety of reasons my concerns about the scheduled meeting at Durbanville on Wednesday in the main pertaining to possible accusations of “white elitism” and “racism” being levied at us, particularly as there is a DA administered government in the WC.

Whilst this was a personal viewpoint given in my capacity as co-chair of KR and whilst others had previously raised concerns weeks ago about racing, I must emphasize that this was not a KR decision, nor did KR or I, cancel the meeting.

Phumelela Racing Executive Patrick Davis (pic: hamishNIVENPhotography)

That decision was taken by Patrick Davis, who I did not personally discuss the matter with, in his capacity as Racing Executive Director of Phumelela who manage WC racing.

I will also add, that following my mail and unsolicited, I received a mail the following day from the Minister of Economic Opportunities in the WC government, requesting that the meeting be cancelled which vindicated my concerns echoed.

Whilst I fully understand the anger from local owners and trainers alike which I will take on the chin, I have always only attempted to assist WC racing and have always gone the extra mile and beyond. However, the bigger picture here was of paramount importance to me.

We may not have had issues racing at past elections, but that was pre-Markus Jooste/Steinhoff happenings and the EFF have been very vocal in their condemnation of racing. It must not be lost sight of that we are presently in discussions here with WCGRB and government seeking assistance for a company in a parlous financial predicament.

Right now, and particularly in the light of recent Public Protector reports, we are treading on very thin ice with government as it is.

Had it been up to me, I would have postponed the Durbanville meeting to Saturday when we aren’t racing. But as Patrick has explained, due to the Turffontein meeting being substituted for the Durbanville meeting, this would necessitate an extra meeting being put on which makes no economic sense bearing in mind KR’s dire financial position and the challenges that PGL faces.

The 8 ‘lost’ races will however, he added back at future WC meetings.

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33 comments on “Durbanville Election Day – Bloomberg Clarifies

  1. Charles IV says:

    And here I was thinking how a race meeting can be cancelled without VM of the national authority giving the cancellation, the nod in advance.

    The racial concerns expressed by RB need to be tackled. Instead of lip service, KR and P should be putting measures in place to make sure racing is not seen as racially biased and elitist.

    Get rid of the non racing board of directors. It is easy. KR and P should not pay any board member to attend a meeting. How many will stay on? Most from KR will. Most from P will not. They have never been owners and are remnants from MJ and his Simon says era. You gotta ask yourself how the PP was able to find that P has done virtually nothing for transformation when its board is at least 50% black. Makes you think.

  2. The Dark Duke says:

    Let me ask one simple question.

    Were owners that have been affected by this change of meeting had any correspondence from Kenilworth Racing before this communication from Bloomberg?

  3. Fred Blomkamp says:

    Well I was to have three runners on the 8th Now they wont be running so I wont go and vote now they treat us owners as stooges well let us treat them like they deserve. Those men that protested on Saturday now have no jobs the rest must think about their jobs strike then close up the stable there are plenty more men to take their place it is those foul EFF people stirring the men up. My men strike I close my business down then 160 people go without food

  4. Editor says:

    Will do Brendon

  5. Basil says:

    Isn’t Johannesburg also governed by the DA ??
    If the the financing of an extra meeting were the issue then no racing should have been held on the 8th and the WC meeting should have been postponed to the 11th. No loss of revenue would have been experienced as a result thereof . Perhaps the revenue may have increased as punters are more likely to bet on a Saturday as apposed to a Wednesday.
    Nevertheless , I find this unprofessional conduct highly unsatisfactory while the demise of WC racing gets worse by the day. As mentioned in my previous mails the WC is likened to a sinking ship and someone needs to mend the hole very fast.

  6. Basil says:

    “The lost 8 races will however be in future WC races” comes from someone who allegedly understands racing. Trainers plot and plan which races a particular horse will go for months in advance.
    Let’s say one has a maiden juvenile filly who is suited to 1000m and was entered on the 8th. The next race after that is on the 28th (20 day gap is fine if all is ok and she’s still a maiden). The next such race is on 19 June (once again a decent gap). So unless these races are added in very quickly the trainer’s program for this horse is defeated.
    So whatever you do (unless the whole card is moved to Saturday) all is in vain as most owners will lose a race in their horses program.

  7. Rian says:

    To say that suddenly post Steinhoff and MJ issues are having an effect on racing the 8th is ludicrous otherwise most racing post that era would also have been a challenge for management
    Did management get any advance warnings from the security cluster ????
    Feel sorry for the Owners who rightly are aggrieved by this sudden madness of possible accusations been levied at us , who is US?????

  8. Editor says:

    Hi Brendon
    Phumelela have advised telephonically that Saturday’s Grooms incident was related to specific matters which have been resolved.
    They are unaware of any threat to Wednesday’s racing and confirm that the decision to implement a Turffontein meeting at short notice as an alternative to Durbanville – 93 provisional acceptors over the 8 races – was done in the very best interests of South African horseracing and to avoid a blank day.
    They advise that they are not willing to debate boardroom matters in the media and are appreciative of all stakeholders supporting the Election Day racemeeting.

  9. Jack Swarts says:

    There is no racing scheduled for Saturday the 11th. Move Wednesday’s card to Saturday. Let our horses get out there and run, and hopefully earn some cash.

  10. Paul says:

    1. The previously published article “Voting Day meeting switched” starts with the statement “At the request of Kenilworth Racing …”.

    Where did that statement come from (official release or inaccurate reporting), please Mr Ed?

    2. Mr Bloomberg refers to having written to management: is that the management of Phumelela (albeit not Mr Davis directly) and the basis of the “KR request”?

    3. Mr Bloomberg states further that his concerns represented “a personal viewpoint given in his capacity as co-chair of KR”.

    How does one provide a personal viewpoint in an official capacity (akin to being a bit pregnant, no?). Surely it is either a personal viewpoint or an official one?

    4. Apropos the reference to “given in my capacity as co-chair of KR”: was the KR Board consulted or does the co-chair simply give a personal viewpoint in his capacity as co-chair?

    5. Whilst one accepts the decision rests with Mr Davis, one must also accept that the decision was precipitated by something.

    If that something is the perceived request by KR (in the form of RB concerns) then RB must surely take some accountability: was his personal viewpoint seen as an official request (it was, after all, given in his capacity as co-chair)?; and why did he not consult his co-chair/board?

    Perhaps Mr Davis can be asked to clarify the background to his decision, Mr Ed.

  11. Rod Mattheyse says:

    if only the addicts could take 1 day off – every owner who had a runner carded please don’t have a bet on the day – not with your bookmaker either.

    I’m in sorry to my very customer focused suppliers but you will receive no turn over from me

  12. Donald says:

    Jack Swarts is correct , the meeting should have been moved to Saturday , pure , plain and simple !

    How racing on voting day is acceptable in JHB.. but NOT in C.T. is beyond any logic ?

    This decision is bad for the owners in C.T. and is almost as poor as that taken in the Kentucky Derby to disqualify the winner !


    No! no! Mr. Patrick Davis, your decision & logic about the late start to racing, relayed via Robert Bloomberg’s letter, must have come straight from the “White House”.

    If you understood anything about the nature of our polling stations, you should have come to the conclusion to start racing as EARLY as possible.

    The masses consistently have their polling stations opening up late, and not just a HOUR.

    The best time to go voting is from 5’o clock onward until late !

    And then, Mr. Davis, voting is voting, Cape Town, Joburg or De Aar. Why should Turffontein racing be any different ?

  14. Pops says:

    So it is official.When Phumelela says jump the rest say ,how high

  15. Speedyvar says:

    Kenilworth Racing Chairman Robert Bloomberg has no say in what happens with racing in Cape Town?
    No wonder the boys from the north thing they are Gods gift to South African horse racing.

  16. Rian says:

    AGAIN the response from the powers that be is DEAFENING , and we consistently put up with this CRAP

  17. Paul says:

    Yes, Riaan. Both Phumelela and RB put out statements – but then decline to clarify or answer queries arising. Lack of accountability and transparency a major concern. Still fail to understand concept of a personal viewpoint given in his capacity as co-chair.

  18. Butch says:

    Based on the comments above, are Phumelela executives and management living on another planet? What is contributing to them coming across as being tone deaf?

    If the race meeting scheduled for Wednesday at Turffontein does not proceed as planned by PGL, then the entire bunch must pack it up. Racing can do a lot better without these Racing Gods.

    Can PGL give us their response on this site, including details of (i) what were the grooms issue?, (ii) how was it resolved? (iii) Why was it not possible to resolve these issues before racing commenced on Champions Day? (iv) Has the Gauteng Government and National Government been consulted regarding the late scheduling of the race meeting on voting day?

  19. Michael Jacobs says:

    Why are non-executive director’s making executive decisions ( in their personal capacity!) about Cape Racing? And surely common sense would say that the Wednesday meeting should have been moved to Saturday, just a poor excuse and decision from KR and Phumelela! This much vaunted new board of Kenilworth racing has certainly not brought any progress or improvement to Cape Racing, we are actually going backwards!

  20. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Bloomberg – ‘possible accusations’
    My question is, if the DA retains the WC, will all future races in CT (‘maybe’) threatened. Nah, bad decision. The racing calender was set long ago, so was the vote date. This last minute decision is waking up sleeping dogs, giving some, more ideas.

  21. Yugen says:

    KR must fit the bill for all owners and trainers costs incurred. They knew a few months ago about the elections and could have cancelled all meetings for the 8th. To partly politicize the issue by bringing political parties into your argument and the mentioning of the Jooste/Steinhoff saga only projects your poor planning and management skills.

  22. Basil says:

    I agree Michael . Furthermore has the local chapter of the RA made any comments yet.
    When a meeting is cancelled by rain it’s referred to as an act of God. Now we have other parties acting as God to cancel (not postpone) meetings.

  23. Owner & Punter says:

    The decision makes no sense, and the initial lack of transparency followed by convoluted explanations makes it worse. Owners at the end of their tether!

  24. dobrin says:

    I agree the meeting could have taken place the next day or definitly the saturday 11th.As a sign of good faith why dont they add a meeting on the 22nd May as there is no mid week racing in the Cape that week,or do the powers that be dont want racing in the Cape Town.

  25. Yugen naidoo says:

    Wonder why my comments are not published?

    1. Editor says:

      Have no record of any unapproved comments from you Yugen

  26. Basil says:

    Once again everyone will have their moans on the deaf and arrogant ears of the powers that be and nothing will be granted to those who contribute to this sport that we love so much. In view of the RA’s indignant silence in this regard I call upon all WC owners not to renew their membership this year as our subscriptions are not utilised for the purpose of looking after our interests.


    Kenilworth Racing Chairman Robert Bloomberg’s statement –

    “That decision was taken by Patrick Davis, who I did not personally discuss the matter with, in his capacity as Racing Executive Director of Phumelela who manage WC racing” is in line with the Public Protectors report/observation with reference to 5.3.53 (page 97).

    So members of the Western Cape “racing scene”, now you know who wears the pants.

  28. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Pools looked strong Phumelela 1 me nil


    Do yourself a solid and look at the interim results for Phumelela @ 31 January 2019 under CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

    In the face of that document , Your comment is senseless and secondly, bears no relevance to the plight of the smaller stakeholder in Cape Town.

    Did you bother to read Basil’s comments ?

    -4 to you and Phumelela

  30. Editor says:

    A meeting at Durbanville on Sunday 12 May has been added to the racing calendar – to compensate for the cancelled
    Election Day meeting at the same venue.
    The programme for that 8 May Wednesday meeting stands – but new entries were called for. Entries closed today at 12h30 and declarations were made at 13h30.
    The meeting will thus not be carried in our weekend print edition but find a racecard from Friday 10 May on sportingpost.co.za


    I wonder which assets, if any, held by Kenilworth Racing Pty Limited are bond-free ?

  32. The Dark Duke says:

    Well done to the WCRA on acting on behalf of their owners this is exactly what should be expected of them and hopefully this will spread on a national level where owners interests are the priority. The actions have made this Bloomberg fella look like a right Charlie

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