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Met Stake Slashed

L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate remains unchanged

The Sun Met is the biggest casualty in Phumelela’s stakes reduction programme with the value of the Cape Town showpiece dropping from R5 million to R3 million.

It used to be run for R2,5 million but the stake was doubled in 2017.

Sun Met jockey class of 2018 (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Michael Clower reports on www.goldcircle.co.za that the other main features on February 1 are unchanged – with the two CTS sales races worth R5m each and the Majorca and Cape Flying both remaining on R1 million – but the Western Cape Stayers and the Politician both drop R50 000 to R350 000 and R200 000 respectively in line with the reductions already known for Grade 2 and Grade 3 races.

The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on January 11 stays at R1,5 million and the Paddock Stakes on R1 million but the Peninsula Handicap and the Chairman’s Cup that day take R50 000 drops to R350 000 and R200 000.

The revamped Cape Derby meeting on February 22 – intended as a showpiece for the Asian Racing Conference – sees the Diadem and Prix Du Cap both taking R50 000 drops but the R1 million Derby is untouched as is the Cape Nursery (R200 000) and the R150 000 Jet Master.

For many owners and trainers, though, it is the reductions across a broad sweep of maidens and handicaps that will be felt most.

An ordinary maiden, for instance, will drop from R80 000 to R 70 000 at Kenilworth and Durbanville.

There are also cuts at the other Phumelela-administered courses – Turffontein, the Vaal, Fairview and Flamingo Park – with falling betting turnover to blame as well as the loss of the Gauteng Provincial Government levy on winning bets.

Interestingly there are no cuts planned – for the time being anyway – at the two Hollywoodbets-sponsored KZN courses Greyville and Scottsville even though many of their bread-and-butter races offer higher stakes than those in Cape Town.

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36 comments on “Met Stake Slashed


    She said I’ve found somebody new
    To take your place.
    I said don’t feel so all alone
    I’ve found someone of my own.

    lah lah lah lah lalah

    Artist – The Free Movement

  2. Anthony says:

    So if I was an owner I could unilaterally decrease the stable fees I pay by 13% because the economy is bad and my business is not achieving its budget and growth?

  3. Preston says:

    @Anthony..If you were an owner, you would assess the various moving variables of owning a horse 🐎 and then conclude that the business model is a bad one and should have stayed away.

  4. Siva says:

    The real culprits are the bookmakers who make huge profits but contribute so little to the game

  5. Kay says:

    Maiden Plates in Cape R70k PE R74k Gauteng R95k and KZN R100k or did i miss it when it was announced maiden cuts in joburg and PE? The MET i thought was a sponsored race so how can phumelela cut that stake? R5m to R3m. Not betting turnovers but authorities killing cape racing!

  6. Space Invader says:

    In my eyes the significant drop in prize money will not go unnoticed by visiting patrons who see it as one of the best day events of the year in Cape Town.

    Phumelela has made a right royal mess of the Met. It’s very hard to see the Met keep its lure and status with such a drop in stakes.

    The Met will be regarded as second rate race just like the Summer Cup is in Johannesburg. The turnout for the Summer Cup has never been good.

    What is the next disappointment to come.

    I propose that the nhra board of directors and the RA board of directors be removed en masse in special meetings. Something has got to give. Something has got to be done.

  7. Steve Reid says:

    Dear Siva.

    A culprit is defined as a person who is responsible for a crime or other misdeed. I’m not going to get into this because I will probably get accused of being childish if I call you brainwashed or more accurately, brain dead. I digress however. I would like to leave you with one very simple question. Why do you think that bookmakers are so more successful than Phumelela? It’s not difficult when you apply your mind.

  8. Deon Beyers says:

    Ask the ordinary punter why turnover is down. We do not have a chance to win. Trainers enter 3 or 4horses per race and win with the bigges toutsider. No inquiery. Only owners and trainers(jockeys) ever win p6. I and everyone I know have given up.

  9. Anthony says:

    Phumelela, being a listed company, obviously needs cash to pay dividends? So why pay the stakes, rather keep the cash? Surely Sun International, sponsor of the SUN MET, would have a say in the stature and prize money of their showcase event?? Feels like a downgrade to me

  10. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Kay maidens in PE are now 60k and I’m Kimberly 45k, I have seen a stake as low 35k for Kimberly. The poor souls in Kimberley are going to have to run twice a meeting every meeting to break even!

  11. Errol B says:

    Dear Steve Reid – are you being serious? The reason why the bookmakers are so much more successful than Phumelela is because they payout ZERO in stakes money!

  12. Steve Reid says:

    @Rod Matthuyse you hit the nail on the head there. With very few exceptions, the Met is won by horses owned by those who wouldn’t care about a lower stake. The real issue and those affected most will be the bottom feeders, as you have highlighted. A 35k stake is horrendous. We should not be racing for these stakes in these times, rather cut races and add to those stakes. On a R35K stake, the winning owner would receive R20 300 for the win. After trainer (7%), Jockey (10%) and groom (1%) take their cut the “take home” for the owner is R16646. The climate is as ripe as it will ever be for moves and abuse. That winning cheque will not pay 2 months keep.

    Another thought – the 1% for the 6th to 10th place in this example equates to R350. After the deductions listed, the owner takes home R287. That doesn’t pay for a days keep. Good luck congratulating the groom and handing over R3,50.

    We so need change – those in charge have no idea. I suppose its difficult to understand and have empathy when you are paid R250K a month before perks. The new blood on the RA board are proving to be same old same old. Hot air is plentiful it seems.

  13. Steve Reid says:

    @Errol B another bite. Let’s ask another question then. Why are Gold Circle so much more successful than Phumelela? Bookmakers owe nothing to operators.

  14. Jim says:

    maybe g c will end up buying pm out. if the share price keeps tanking might be pretty easy to do in the near future. would that be a possible solution ?

  15. Brendon says:


    These are interesting but tough time for the gents at the top. John Stuart has been pretty quiet, and Andreas Heide is probably having more sleepless nights regarding the delayed release of the results and the backlash that will follow from shareholders and the market at large. This post is not going to be blood-pressure friendly to Mr. Heide.

    Yesterday evening, when chatting to a prominent racing personality from Cape Town, it dawned on me that Kenilworth Racing is a subsidiary of Phumelela and as such it should be consolidated into the results of Phumelela. This emanated from the conversation when it was pointed out that Patrick Davis (Phumelela’s Ray Donovan) actually controls Kenilworth Racing. Bloomberg, the Chairman of Kenilworth, has also confirmed this previously on SP, regarding decisions that were taken by Mr. Davis. The actions (evidencing “control”) of Phumelela in relation to Kenilworth Racing would make it almost impossible for them to deny that Phumelela controls Kenilworth Racing. To name but a few instances of Phumelela’s control of Kenilworth Racing:

    1) Phumelela’s Davis taking the decision to cancel the race meeting in the Western Cape on Election Day;
    2) Phumelela effecting retrenchments at Kenilworth Racing;
    4) Phumelela taking over the marketing and “launch” of the Met;
    5) Phumelela flying in their commentators from Johannesburg to KR land; and
    6) …….. (the SP posters would probably make this list a few pages long)

    It would be worthwhile getting a view from Messrs. Heide, Bloomberg and KPMG why International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) 10 (accounting for subsidiaries on consolidation) does not apply to Phumelela in relation to Kenilworth Racing. Based on Phumelela’s 2018 AFS, Kenilworth Racing was not consolidated and it appears to me that on the face of it, it should be consolidated. IFRS 10 clearly applies in this instance as Phumelela controls Kenilworth Racing as defined in IFRS 10 and as such it should be consolidated. Kenilworth Racing is a loss making entity and is dependent on Phumelela for funding and liquidity. Therefore, it follows that Phumelela needs to demonstrate to its auditors that it has the necessary funding to fund the operations of its subsidiary, Kenilworth Racing.

    Is Phumelela disclosing all the relevant facts to KPMG to enable it to determine whether the AFS is fairly presented in accordance with IFRS and the Companies Act. The question is, would such non-disclosure constitute a Reportable Irregularity on the part of the Board of Directors of Phumelela?

  16. Harold says:

    It is sad to see the sport that I love is dying a slow death. I am not a punter but racing fan. It seems that mismanagement, poor decision making and devil may care attitude has crept into the running of SA horseracing.

  17. Beatle says:

    I could be misinformed but when the MET was increased to R5 million was Sun International only sponsoring 50% and the other 50% was put forward by Phumelela – please let me know if I am misinformed ?????

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Beatle
      It seems to be the norm that race sponsorships are structured individually on an investment contribution by the operator and the sponsor.
      We are not privvy to the Sun Met financial arrangements. We doubt that this would be for public consumption, in any event.

  18. Leon Smuts says:

    @Steve Reid. I know that you are a good man that loves racing and you know a lot about what goes on behind the scenes. Having said this it is obvious that bookmakers actually do owe the operator (in as far as putting on the show) as figure bear out how much bookies have grown at the expense of the Tote. I don’t think it’s charity when a race course is sponsored but rather an attempt to keep the symbiotic relationship going. Kudo’s to Hollywood and GC but it’s a clever business deal. What it shows is the necessity for all stakeholders to work together as a growing cake will feed a lot more mouths. Racing isn’t dead, just a few that are supposedly looking after it.

    1. karel says:

      Bookmakers have lots of interests apart from racing to make their business grow.

  19. Peter Dembitzer says:

    No cuts in sheltered,protected Kwa Zulu Natal? It’s incredible that the major province with the worst horses and an overkill of racing doesn’t suffer a stake reduction. Racing in this country is a very sad joke

  20. Leon Smuts says:

    I fully agree with you Karel but there has been a very pronounced switch from regular tote players to bookies and a continuation of the show is certainly in the interest of both the operator and bookmakers.

  21. Peter Dembitzer says:

    I have seen many scathing, rude comments published on this site but as soon as I post an opinion(which I am sure is shared by many)criticising Natal racing, it doesn’t get publihed. Tired of it.

    1. karel says:

      maybe you should refresh your browser – that often has a calming effect

    2. Editor says:

      Peter, plse mail a copy of the comments that havent been published to [email protected]
      We have no record of recent comments in your name having been binned

  22. Brendon says:

    Over the past decade or so, Phumelela’s strategy and approach in dealing with bookmakers was flawed. Phumelela has always taken a hostile approach when engaging directly with bookmakers. What is even more aggravating to Scotty is that other Bookmakers are printing cash while Betting World is burning cash.

    @ Leon, the more sensible approach would have been for Phumelela to develop a sound and compelling business case (based on international practices and norms) on the sustainability of Horse Racing and the need to:

    1) Outlaw the laying of open bets by any party other than a licensed tote operator; and
    2) Levy a fixed charge to all licensed tote operators to pay % of turnover to the regulator; and
    3) Require any bookmaker who offers a product related to Horse Racing to pay a % of turnover to the regulator.

    Sell the concept (business case) to the regulator and get the regulator to implement the requisite changes.

    Unfortunately, Scotty and his boss Stuart messed this relationship up not only with the bookmakers (by cutting the TT feed and other legal challenges) but also with the regulators (with ongoing disputes and legal challenges).

    Any expectation of progress on this front would remain a pipe dream until there is a complete change in the various leadership structures and transformation is evident in the new leadership team. Phumelela is unfortunately broke and broken, compliments of a Board of Directors and a management team that have been on a self-serving frenzy for far too long at the expense of every stakeholder in the industry.

    @Leon, how does one go to a person who owns a bookmakers licence and ask such a person to pay for Scotty and his partner, Stuart and his partner, Moses and his partner to fly to the UK for 1 week to have a jolly and attend Epsom for 2 days when there is no demonstrable benefit for Phumelela, South African Racing nor the bookmaker? If these leaders (and their fellow complicit board members that approved this expedition) can take a week out of their “busy” schedule in the first week of June, with absolutely no concern for their fiduciary duties and the fact that:
    1) Rome is burning back home and they should have been in close attendance;
    2) Phumelela was retrenching staff and pleading poverty;
    3) Phumelela is pleading poverty to owners and preparing them for stake cuts;
    4) (*Edited)
    5) Phumelela is about to issue a SENS announcement informing shareholders of covenant breaches and profit warnings

    Why are they asking for hand-out from bookmakers and the regulators, who themselves cannot afford the extravagant trips that Phumelela leadership embarks on?

  23. Steve Reid says:

    @Brandon did you ever hear the joke about the regulator and the regulated? The regulated got tired of answering to the regulator and decided it would be a good idea to do the financials of the regulator so as to save costs, it being such a tight relationship. Well the arrangement got so cosy the hand of friendship was extended further and the regulated started paying expenses on behalf of the regulator and things were just squared up when fees were due. Sound like that would pass any corporate governance examination? I wouldn’t be surprised if some laws were broken in the making of that comedy.

    Perhaps you should add to Heide’s insomnia and ask him whether this is a joke or factual.

  24. Cecil Pienaar says:

    eish, Peter …. i am proudly KZN, but love racing all over SA since a high school boy in the 70’s.
    Is it possible that Gold Circle is doing an OK job, maybe ?

    LoL, during our peak season, when we welcome all the raiders with open arms, we should
    (maybe) drop the stakes …. until they go back

    Time to get my bets on at Hollywoodbets Greyville, difficult racing with these ‘below par’ lots we have down here….

    Back to the topic – Sad that Cape Towns premier race, older than the July, takes this knock….

    Love this forum and all the different opinions and views…

  25. waynefouche says:

    There is no doubt if one studies results in particular that KZN has a very poor crop of horses. The influence of Hollywood has made the difference in stakes but not in horseflesh.

    I vote for Hollywood to take over the running of all SA racing. After all look what happened when Frankie went through Hollywood????


    As there is a ‘refreshing’ diversity with regards to the nature of these comments I’d like to declare that – “I am a river of life to my People (punters/friends) ! ”

    My tips have lead many of my followers to the Promised Land… oh, I miss them dearly.

    Basically, over 25 years I’m as good as it gets.

    Ok, that’s it for now, oh wait, the Met will never be the J&B day we all planned for 2 months in advance. The ‘Sun’ doesn’t even shine on TV, never mind on the course !

  27. Cecil Pienaar says:

    😂 Hello William

    At a recent street Braai in Scott burgh, Steve Hofmeyer was so excited about going to The J & B Met !

    I told him Sun International is the Sponsor, for a season or 3, wish you could see his face…. 😎

    He is still going but won’t be allowed to sing his hit song – Pampoen

  28. Pops says:

    Oh please let there money to pay Usain Bolt his appearance fee.He does so much for South African horse racing.The Tote soars like a arrow heading to the stars.


    Cecil & Pops

    I couldn’t agree more


    I thought it might be in the national interest that I ”pimp myself out” on South Africa’s premier, most beloved & only racing newspaper.

    This as a beacon of light in SA racing’s most darkest hour.

    As I don’t consider my post to be synonymous with a medical-aid bail out, a financial squeeze or a marital status plead bargain, I welcome any inquiries until 2.30am every morning.

  31. anand Chetty says:

    Just amazed at the sarcasm on comments section, often by Karel

  32. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Maybe so anand, but some of the come backs are brilliant… And, this forum needs banter, humor amongst all the serious, higher grade stuff like MR…. 😎

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