This year marks the 100th running of the Gold Cup which has been postponed to the 29 August due to the Coronavirus-enforced closure of horseracing during April and May this year.
The Vodacom Durban July proceeded, albeit behind closed doors on 25 July at Hollywoodbets Greyville, and with the pandemic still yet to reach its peak in South Africa, the same inevitable decision to run the Gold Cup as a broadcast only event, has been made.
In addition to the Gold Cup, the race meeting features four Grade 1 races in the Champions Cup, Mercury Sprint, Premiers Champions Stakes and the Thekwini Stakes, which together form part of a bumper 10 feature race card.
Recently this day has capped the South African Champions Season and has often decided the champion racehorses, trainers, jockeys and breeders for the year. However, with the new racing year commencing on 1 August, this year’s race day will give stakeholders a kick start to the new season.
“With the Centenary of the Gold Cup, we had plans to attract a big crowd to Hollywoodbets Greyville. However given the current circumstances there was only one decision we could make,” said Mike Makaab, CEO of Prosport International, who are the rights holders of the Gold Cup.
He added: “We are fortunate that Gold Circle have already navigated a major race meeting behind closed doors and together we will ensure that we deliver a world class event for broadcast, so that our fans can enjoy the festivities from the safe comfort of their homes this year.”
- Media release by Gold Circle on Monday 3 August 2020