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Racing – Business As Unusual

Coronavirus - action implemented

All South African racemeetings will be closed to the public until further notice.

In light of the guidelines and restrictions regarding public gatherings as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, Kenilworth Racing, Gold Circle, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust have unanimously agreed to implement the following Protocols and Procedures with immediate effect:

  • Racing to continue, but with no public attendance on course

From Tuesday 17 March, all race meetings will be closed to the public until further notice. Consequently, the Joburg Prawn Festival at Turffontein scheduled for 4 April and the Klawervlei raceday scheduled for Durbanville on Saturday 28 March are cancelled, although the race meetings at which they were scheduled will take place.

Only essential racing participants will be allowed access to racecourses on race days. These include owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, officials and staff deemed necessary to host a race meeting safely and successfully.

  • Access control to be strictly adhered to and facilities for participants to be limited

Access points to racecourses will be limited, as will hospitality venues for participants allowed at racecourses on raceday in order to strictly comply with the guidelines and restrictions imposed.

  • Sanitization measures to be put in place

Hand sanitizer, accompanied with the necessary signage and instructions, will be made available to all racing participants allowed on course.

The same sanitization measures will be applied at training centres which will include all grooms. In addition, various restrictive measures to be implemented as a cautionary, as well as potential lockdown procedures, are being put into place in the eventuality of an outbreak at any of the grooms’ accommodation.

  • All non-racing events cancelled

All non-racing events, such as conferences, hosted at the various racecourses across the country, will be cancelled with immediate effect.

  • Off Course Betting Outlets

In line with the published restrictions, attendance at all Off-Course Betting Shops will be limited to under 100 persons as required. In addition, sanitization measures will be put in place at all outlets.

Racing fans are encouraged to open online betting accounts instead of placing bets at Off-Course Betting Shops.

  • Government Hotline

Attention is drawn to the government hotline – 0800 029 999 – which provides easy access to important information on the subject.

The Racing Operators reserve the right to deny access to any of their venues to any person displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

  • Press release issued jointly by Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, Kenilworth Racing, Gold Circle, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and the Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust

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20 comments on “Racing – Business As Unusual

  1. Micaela Cross says:

    The Klawervlei Football Tournament has been postponed it’s not cancelled !

  2. MGram says:

    It took a day to implement the best practices that Hong Kong have implemented? Good call


    so what ?

  4. Rian says:

    BBC sports just announced Grand National suspended by Jockey Club

  5. Wragties says:

    So what? The industry is on it’s knees. Let’s hope they can keep the websites up. Staff still need to be paid but so what? Business is on the edge but so what?

  6. Steve Reid says:

    The article starts off “In light of the guidelines and restrictions regarding public gatherings as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March to limit the spread of the coronavirus”. Really. Bare in mind that the restrictions apply to a physical facility and do not give the leeway of splitting that facility into segments. On Thursday, Turffontein will have the following people present when the racing begins:

    Phumelela staff both local and international
    Racing Association staff
    Turffontein trainers and staff including grooms
    Raiding yards and staff
    The Jockey Club staff both working at the meeting and admin
    BettingWorld staff and patrons
    The SAP mounted wing and staff
    Raceday casual staff

    The numbers will be way over the maximum amount of 100.

  7. B steele says:

    Steve what are you asking for a complete shutdown?

  8. Riaan says:

    offcourse you must Cancelled everything,use your Head.This is a World Crisis!!

  9. Steve Reid says:

    Bev there are complete shutdowns of other sport why are we different?

  10. Steve Reid says:

    Take this as an example. God forbid it ever happens but lets just for illustration purposes say that Musi Yeni and Craig Zackey who rode at the Vaal today were infected with the Corona virus. In the next week they are confirmed to ride in Greyville, back to the Vaal. Fairview,Turffontein and Greyville and Kimberley. To get to these centres they will be subjected to sharing confined spaces,

    Is this really a good idea?

  11. B steele says:

    Steve there are more people at the Milnerton stables right now than on the track at the Vaal


    Wragties – so what to the The Klawervlei Football Tournament

  13. Steve Reid says:

    This is another example of why the NHA need regulation. Every other recognised sport in South Africa falls under a national body who I presume are more often than not part of SASCOC. Imagine an outbreak of the virus that can be traced back to a participant in racing or a racing event. Can we really be this cavalier and/or more accurately, retarded? Does the NHA board all endorse these steps forward?

  14. Michael Jacobs says:

    What if a coronavirus outbreak is traced back to a bank, a govt institution or a retail store or mall, public transport or a restaurant/ bar? Same thing, what’s different about horse racing. If those places remain open during the crisis, racing can remain open too. No spectators, personal hygiene protocols and social distancing will enable racing to continue. Just like the retail store.

  15. MGram says:

    There are clearly some very ignorant individuals here who are more interested in feeding their habit than being concerned around the ramifications of the devastation that this virus wreaks. Educate yourselves this is no mere flu.

    Michael Jacobs I pray that you have no old or vulnerable family members.

  16. Michael Jacobs says:

    Why are retail stores, banks, malls, restaurants, bars, gyms, govt depts, public transport all operating? Good personal hygiene, social distancing, no oncourse spectators. Mr Mcgram i could catch the virus from you or anyone else as I work in a retail store. Is the horse going to give the virus to anyone if there is no-one on the racecourse?

  17. Michael Jacobs says:

    The govt has directed that bars, shebeens, restaurants and bottle stores get restricted and/or closed. So we are getting there. Meanwhile banks, retail stores, govt depts, public transport where thousands (!) assemble remains Buiness as Usual. So, racing…..Business as usual (without spectstors) . It’s…. RACE TIME!

  18. Riaan says:

    This Michael, seems to me got nothing else to do with his Life, then to Play Horses.

  19. Michael Jacobs says:

    Mr Riaan, actually not. I work in a retail store (thus exposed to corona virus carriers everyday! Lol). So I work very hard and punt a few times during the week and of course on weekends.

    So if retail stores are still open and trading, and malls are open, and govt depts are operating and banks, restaurants, bars and public transport continues, then racing can surely continue ( without spectators of course) .

    So what is the problem here? Instead of complaining and whining, stop punting until you feel it is safe to do so. But let us go on punting if we so wish. Capiche

  20. Casey Clarke says:


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