Home » Racing & Sport » Anybody Miss The Old Racecards?

Anybody Miss The Old Racecards?

Some memories on a lockdown Easter Sunday

Seeing we are in lockdown reminiscent mode, thought we’d invite a few comments from posters who remember the relatively information scarce days of racecards.

Picking the weekend racecard up at the Kimberley Cafe in Roeland Street in Cape Town 45 years ago on a Wednesday evening was a highlight that put Dad in an automatic good mood. And then it was in the history text book for school the next day.

Up to recently, Gold Circle was still producing a racecard for KZN meetings.

Thanks to Lucky Nicolaidis for sending in the pic.

Send in  your racing trivia and pics to editor@sportingpost.co.za



Have Your Say

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages everyone to feel free to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that The Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their real and verified names, you can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the Editor. The Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

The views of any individuals that are published are NOT necessarily the views of The Sporting Post.

41 comments on “Anybody Miss The Old Racecards?

  1. Pops says:

    On older Natal race cards than shown here,at the bottom left hand corner there was a four digit number.
    Many punters took those numbers as their straight line Jackpot for 50 cents and then took other Jackpots selections.
    Remember what those numbers represented and how they were officially used?

  2. Basil says:

    I used to buy the Turf Guide , done by Charles Faull I think, at the stand by the Standard Bank in Adderley Street which came out on a Thursday. The photo’s were extremely useful in maintaining archives of previous races which assisted my Thursday night studies for the Saturday meeting. Having done my homework I normally purchased the race card at the track because of its convenient size.
    Nevertheless thanks for the insert , it really brought back good memories.

  3. Pops says:

    Selwyn Elk,need some help here.Showing race cards on big screen TV. Took out the larger magnifying glass.Checked Smirnoff Plate race card but cannot see four digit code at bottom left hand corner.
    Am I talking BS as usual by saying it was there on the cover of race cards? Hope it is not a matter of losing my marbles during this lock down. Surely old age does not do that to one,Right Cecil.

    1. Editor says:

      Never, Pops
      Selwyn will know

  4. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Never Pops, Hello ?

    Wow, that specific Race card got my full attention as well

    1962 Gilbeys Stakes sponsored
    1963 Smirnoff Plates sponsored

    Oldest sponsored races in SA until mid 90s ? Both Pmb

    Thank You Lucky for sending this in ?

  5. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Pops, I don’t recall numbers on the race cards , definitely not in the 60’s , if they were there before , then I am sure the cards would have been numbered to monitor the print order for sale and return purposes, hope that helps you

  6. Seattle Slew says:

    Very poignant memories here. One of my great regrets is not keeping and collecting the race cards of the early period when I first started following the sport as a kid. I’d willingly pay to get my hands on the race cards and Computaforms of the late 70s/early 80s now.

    The normal race card was a weekly occurrence but Computaform was a once-a-year treat for July day only.

    I especially remember the South African Invitation Stakes, run at Scottsville on the 2nd Saturday of November (a meeting often attended by heavy rain). The entire race card was in colour, not just the main race – I found this absolutely fascinating at the time. The meeting was also an inter-provincial jockey championship, so in the main race, instead of carrying their owner’s colours, the horses would wear colours based on the jockey they had drawn – red for Transvaal as it was then known, blue for Cape, black for Natal and green/gold for a team designated as “South Africa”. Felix Coetzee was Victor Ludorum in 1982 with Count Du Barry edging out Rain Forest in the main race. The following year Robbie Sham won the jockey competition and Rooies Fourie rode Turncoat to victory in the mud. I’m not sure but I think it was Yamani and Bartie Leisher in 1984, definitely Model Man and Rhys van Wyk in 1985 and then Main Main (can’t remember the jockey, but I seem to remember him going start to finish) in 1986.

    I was saddened when they eventually did away with the meeting as I considered it one of the genuine highlights of the calendar.

  7. SelwynElk says:

    Hi Seattle Slew, Turncoat beat Bodrum in the pouring rain, remember it like yesterday, other notable winners were Sledgehammer , owned by the sponsors of the race, Cyril Hurwitz ( Bull Brand Meats) and ridden by Muis Roberts, In Full Flight ridden by Chilean Fernando Toro and Two Cities with the late Roy Curling aboard

  8. Pops says:

    OK here is what can recall about four digit number on race card.
    That number was the official code punched/franked onto paper tickets.Say you wanted a win on number 6 in race 4.Clerk would turn to board behind him( think all races had different coloured tickets for that day) pull off number six in race 4 board and then put ticket into franking machine,(pull the lever) which punch the 4 digit number for that day on to the ticket.
    Place accumulator and Jackpot tickets also had same 4 digit number punched into them.The 4 digit number changed with each race meeting to ID different meetings.
    That 4 digit number appeared on the race card for that meeting.Was sure it appeared on cover.
    Can i be so wrong?

  9. Rian says:

    Selwyn, did the older Computaforms 70s / 80s give the previous Saturday jackpot pools and tickets or just the payouts,
    Remember the pictures ,great for studying

  10. Pops says:

    Remember the year when that handsome French jockey with a model wife was not happy with the commentator who pronounced his surname all wrong.
    Yves St Martin.The commentator called him down to the start—-ánd there goes Yves Saint Martin.After the race he rushed back to get the commentator to correct his surname.No no no it was not Saint anything.Something like Yves Sum mu tar

  11. Brian Taylor says:

    In 1971, if I’m not mistaken, Mazarin won the July for the Tenderini owners. A guy next door to me ran an A4 piece with the fields and sold it to the local tea rooms, like Lil’s Corner in Hillcrest, amongst others and in school holidays I would have a job delivering this piece to the tea rooms Durban and the highway area and I made good pocket money.

    The owner used to get the entries or whatever from the turf Clubs but go to Summerveld to speak to the trainers for whatever I didn’t care

    But there I would meet my school mates being a scholar at Kloof High.

    No names but I got a good few tips not from my mates but their Dads. Herman Brown, Buller Benton, Hennie Coetzee and man I used to ask my boss if he could go into the Hillcrest Tote and take bets for me

    Soon after I had the money to buy this 10 speed bicycle and I was the dude!

    One Friday at school, last period, the teacher gave us a “free period” where we had to read.

    My mate Stu Galloway and I were passing our jackpot selections to and fro and got bust. The card was confiscated

    On Monday the card was given back to us and we had the results. We’d had the Jackpot which paid R17 000 odd.

    Next Friday same story but this time the teacher slipped a race card and a jackpot slip fort marking

    I loved those old race cards. I used to collect them

    Man! They were great

    1. Editor says:

      Shades of a well spent youth
      Great story, Brian

  12. Russell Parkinson says:

    This message is to Selwyn Elk … you say that Turncoat beat Bodrum in the pouring rain and that you remember the race like it was yesterday. Very respectfully may I suggest that your memory may be starting to deceive you ?
    I was a big fan of Robert Sangster’s Folmar colt with the club foot back in the day but Turncoat probably lost more of the duels with Bodrum than he actually won. I may be wrong but I believe that the race that you may be referring to was 1983 South African Invitation Stakes for the three-year olds at Scottsville. The race was run in pouring rain and the track was a mud-bath. I recall Rooies Fourie riding Turncoat and beating Felix Coetzee on an outsider called Lotus Land. I’m not sure that Bodrum actually ran in that race although I stand to be corrected.

  13. Russell Parkinson says:

    Message for Seattle Slew.
    I was at Scottsville the day Main Man won the Invitation Stakes at Scottsville in the mud with Bartie Leisher on board. They were big doubts whether he would get the mile trip, even more so when the going turned heavy. I can’t remember who he beat but I think Jean Heming had another colt in the race called Pedometer who ended being a very decent performer indeed.
    To this day, i’ll never forget the ‘Lebs’ chanting BARTIE BARTIE BARTIE as Main Man was led into the winning enclosure after the race. Fantastic memories from about 35 years ago ?

  14. Calvin Naidoo says:

    As a little lad, I remember similar cards like these in the early 80’s…shoh…really brings back memories, can even smell the paper…lol. What I really enjoyed were the bright colour prints of jockeys silks for feature races…Those were the days. But nowadays, I only use the computaform. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your memories, my dad’s time, but I still loved it as well.

  15. Mervs says:

    Hi guy’s you can’t beat the old Jockey International
    Lester Piggot
    Willie Carson
    Cash Assmussen
    Saint Martan
    our Jockeys
    Muis Roberts
    Not sure if it was Grant Kotzen

  16. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Rian, Duffs Turf Guide and SA Racing Mirror both gave the gross and nett pools, winning numbers and dividends of the previous meetings and when Computaform came on the market in the 70’s they continued to do so.

  17. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Pops, in those days Natal raced mainly on Saturday’s, there were very few mid- week meetings. Throughout the month of January Scottsville raced on Wednesdays as well and had a trainers compitition that ran for about 8 weeks,of which Brian Cunningham invariably won. In the Transvaal racing was always twice a week, Wednesday’s either the Vaal or Newmarket. On Saturday’s all four centers raced, Transvaal, Natal, Cape and Port Elizabeth. In Natal if you won a jackpot or place accumulator on the Saturday you would have to go to a Tab outlet on the Monday to claim your winnings and would only be paid out after 11.00 am on the Tuesday, technology changed all that years later.

  18. Len Bloch says:

    All my memories are Cape Town based,Kenilworth and Milnerton.
    Saturday racing that even without any major feature race was always run in front of PACKED stands.
    So sad this no longer happens but I imagine this is in part due to the off course totes.
    My worst memory,easy.
    My good friend Chris P ,twice my size held on to the scruff of my neck and would not let me run off to take a Stanley Amos double at + – 100 to one which duly won.
    I used to cut out all the results from the back of the then race cards and stick them one on top of the other.
    At one stage I think my stack must have been about two foot high.
    You have no idea how many nice wins I would pick up by going to the same time of year ,a year or two back and selecting horses that had won same time of year.
    My buddies and were never big punters but went to watch in the main the beauty of magificent animals doing what they were bred for racing.
    Truely the most beautiful and graceful of all animals.

  19. Leonard says:

    Look at the Grand Stand On the card Johannesburg Turf Club Summer Meeting

  20. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Russell, at 71 , you are right,my memory may not be as good as it used to be.The Bull Bull Brand was last run in 1974 and was replaced by The South African Invitation Stakes in the following year. You are spot on , Turncoat beat the Tony Furness trained Lotus Land. When Turncoat won The Mainstay 1800 he had Bodrum and Rain Forest behind him. Thanks for jolting my memory, it was only 37 years ago.

  21. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hello Selwyn, 71 yrs young. I,we still look fwd to many more (years) posts from you. The horses mentioned here, Bodrum and Turncoat, classy animals in a special era.

  22. nvg1Nic says:

    Anybody remember the centre spread nude in Computaform with the strategically placed cricket bat?

  23. Stewart says:

    Turncoat .was that not owned by Ronnie Scholthammer.(pardon the spelling).My dad and i had a friend who was Etienne vd Westhuizens mate.His name was Piet.Blond haired fellow who used to paint his computerform with coloured markers.Piet said to my dad “oom fire turncoat”if it loses ill give your money back.he meant it but never needed to refund us.best drive home from scottsville ever


    Yes Stewart,

    Peter Misdorp sold it to Ronnie for R 100 000 and then Ronnie sold to Mr. Robert Sangster.

    Right in the beginning, Turncoat jumped out ahead of the rest in a gale-force 3pm Milnerton wind over a straight 1200 or 1400m…. and just galloped and galloped, further and further away. Gary Verne, eased him down, and everybody was looking at each other gobsmacked.

    The whole of Milnerton immediately knew he was the real deal then.

  25. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Stewart,Turncoat started off being trained by the late Mark Watters in the Cape and then moved to the late Jean Heming’s yard at the Vaal before blossoming under the astute Herman Brown snr and becoming one of the best of his generation. He was owned by Robert Sangster,an owner with horses all over the world and Herman also had another of Sangster’s in the yard called Seat of Power which was responsible for a large betting coup many years ago


    That’s right Basil,

    The flower lady standing between OK Bazaars & Standard Bank, she had a periodical stand, raceccards, Scope, Mad & Tessa


    Turncoat’s mom was Kisma

  28. SelwynElk says:

    Hi Cecil, thanks for those kind words, will keep the old memories returning from time to time


    Thanks to Lucky Nicolaidis for sharing

    …and what’s more refreshing, he didn’t even try and play ‘the race card’ within his contribution.

  30. michael wanckel says:

    hi everyone does anyone know where i can purchase old Durban July racecards, im a collector and mostly looking for the early 70 and 80. thanks my cell no ,0686420942. and my name is Michael

  31. michael wanckel says:

    i remember that before the computer form arrived on the scene , there was the photo form , and it was in color, i was little perturbed that computer form was in black and white not in color. there was something magic in seeing the full color profile of the winner with the sash on the race card cover, i think the printers missed a trick, the July is the most famous race and the winners aught to have the honor of being on the cover…


    I think Main Man was ridden by Gerald Turner.

  33. Graham Martin says:

    I have all the race cards (as in race cards, not Computer Form or other tipping guides) from the 90’s up to now. Unfortunately I discarded all the 70’s and 80’s race cards. I have all the July race cards from the 90’s! Proper race cards! In those race cards, the role of honor for the previous 5 years of the Feature Race winners and placed horses was printed , which made it interesting. The original race card was handy to have because it was’nt so big and cumbersome, Also easy to Archive!


    Good afternoon Mr. Narainsamy,

    Do you remember the epic battle between Main Man & Model Man in the 87 Mainstay ? Bush Telegraph certainly contributed to a remarkable race.

    Jeff Loyd v Basil Marcus


    Winning time 100.6 sec for 1800m

    If it was an even pace, then 11.788 seconds per 200m (furlong)

  36. Pieta says:

    William, Ja that can’t be right….

    There can only be 2 explanations for this time..

    1. The horse was pulled by an Isuzu bakkie.
    2. They used the old Zobo alarm clock…..

  37. Russell Millard says:

    I am not sure about the 4 digits on the race card. However, I know there were 4 digits on the back of the cigarette box. My mother and a friend took these numbers as a joke one day many years ago and caught the jackpot at Clairwood. The numbers were 6,2,4,9 and one of the legs was won by Tudor Banner. The jackpot paid over R4,000 which was huge back them.

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Russell
      Tudor Banner’s form didn’t come up.
      But maybe it was Tudor Blue?
      His only win at Clairwood was in the R10 000 Clwd June Hcap on June 18, 1977.
      He beat All Heart, Mildenhall , Big Sky, Promontory and Fly By Night


    Hello William. My apologies for the delayed response. I do remember that famous battle. Bush Telegraph ran a cracker in losing his unbeaten record. Main Man had in fact gained revenge. He had actually passed the post first in the previous years Smirnoff Plate but the race was handed to Bush Telegraph who remained unbeaten until the Mainstay 1800 of 1987.

Leave a Comment

‹ Previous

Drop The Agendas – Bring Shaheen Back

Next ›

Lyle’s Weekend Big Four In Japan

Popular Posts