Horseracing makes a return to South African racecourses today and Hollywoodbets is celebrating with the launch of the Hollywoodbets Back On Track Challenge!
Prize money to the value of R530,000 is up for grabs, with individual challenges for trainers, jockeys, horses, grooms and apprentices.
This is the first time that grooms and apprentices will be included in the competition.
The Challenge applies to all KwaZulu-Natal race meetings at Hollywoodbets Greyville and Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
The challenge will run for the period 1 June 2020 to 25 July 2020, culminating with the final race on Vodacom Durban July day.
Points are awarded in accordance with the horses’ finishing positions i.e. in a 10-horse field, the winner will be awarded 10 points, 2nd 9 points and so on, with the last horse being awarded 1 point.
Similarly, in a 14-horse field, the winner will be awarded 14 points and the last horse just a single point.
In this winter edition, double points will be awarded to all participants in all Black-Type races (Grade 1, 2, 3 and listed races), of which thirty events are scheduled to take place.
There is R150,000 prize money on offer for each challenge involving the trainers, jockeys and horses.
For the grooms and apprentices sections, there is R40,000 prize money available for each challenge.
Racing fans will recall that a similar competition, the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge, was held between December 2019 and February 2020.
A winner in that popular inaugural event, Warren Kennedy, pictured above, who currently leads the South African Jockey Championship, is not only excited about the return of racing, but is looking forward to defending his Sizzling Summer Challenge crown.
“It is great to see Hollywoodbets come to the party by launching a renewal of this competition, including an incentive for the apprentices this time. These are trying times and we have all gone through a lot over the past two months. It is just fantastic for horse racing that Hollywoodbets is conducting this challenge again,” said Kennedy.
“It was great fun winning the Sizzling Summer Challenge for jockeys and it created a lot of competition between riders, trainers and owners alike. I am looking forward to the new Back On Track Challenge and enjoying the positive energy it brings to KZN racing.”
A total of R75,000 of the R150,000 pot for the jockeys’ competition will go to the winner, with prizes offered up to 5th place. The R40,000 apprentice prize money will be distributed over the top 5 apprentices, with R20,000 awarded to the winning apprentice.
In the trainers section, R75,000 of the R150,000 pot will go to the winner, with prizes up to 5th place.
The R40,000 grooms’ prize money will be distributed over the top 10 grooms, with R16,000 being presented to the overall winner. The Grooms’ Initiative, sponsored by Hollywoodbets and Gold Circle, which sees R1,000 awarded to the winning groom of each race, will resume and run concurrently with the Back On Track Challenge.
Garth Puller, pictured below, winner of the inaugural trainer challenge, has his eyes on the R75,000 cash prize for this edition. He is excited to hear that this challenge will kick-off the return of racing.
“Having won the Hollywoodbets Sizzling Summer Challenge for trainers earlier this year, the prize was a big help towards my stable expenses at the time, and I am delighted to hear that Hollywoodbets is sponsoring the renewal!” said Puller.
“It is also nice to see the apprentices and grooms being included this time around, creating interest across all sectors of racing. It is certainly appreciated by all stakeholders in KwaZulu Natal who are in desperate need of seeing some light at the end of this Coronavirus tunnel. Racing has been through the toughest time of late, and this initiative from Hollywoodbets goes a long way to help KZN racing. We will once again be the envy of South African Horse Racing, due to great concepts such as this. It is truly great to be Back On Track!”
Justin Snaith, pictured below, trainer of dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again, is ready for Champions Season, and believes that this challenge adds an extra impetus for the raiding parties.
“I was extremely excited to hear that Hollywoodbets is renewing the Sizzling Summer Challenge as a refreshed edition. And best of all, that the handlers and apprentice jockeys have been included. With Grooms being the back-bone of South African racing, they deserve the recognition, and this really could be life-changing for the winners,” said Snaith.
“The fact that a trainer from the Cape can participate in such a great concept is brilliant. I have always been as close to KZN Racing as I am to Cape Racing, and to be included in this competition for the first time just makes it so much more exciting for the stable.”
“I am really looking forward to getting this winter season up and running and can’t wait to compete in the Back On Track Challenge.”
This competition of course would not be possible if it weren’t for the return of racing. Gold Circle, who operate and administer horse racing in KwaZulu-Natal, has been working tirelessly with all the different stakeholders to make sure that the sport gets up and running again.
Gold Circle’s Events and Marketing Executive Steve Marshall says the competition is a great initiative to coincide with return the of racing to the province.
“The upgrades to the competition are fantastic and once again Hollywoodbets is providing a ray of light to KZN Racing and our stakeholders at a time when it is so desperately needed. The competition will generate an even greater buzz in racing circles, and provide another exciting angle to Champions season. We are extremely fortunate to have them as a partner,” said Marshall.
Hollywoodbets is also in the process of renewing the Sizzling Punters’ Challenge, with the launch date set for the Hollywoodbets Greyville race meeting on Sunday 7 June 2020.
R10,000 in prize money will be up for grabs at every KZN race meeting, paying up to 20 places.
Prize money will be doubled on feature race days (WSB Guineas, Daily News, and Golden Horse Sprint Days), with a mega prize for the final challenge on Vodacom Durban July day!
Details with regards to this challenge will be released in the new week.
View the Terms and Conditions for each challenge below: