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So What Happens To Kenilworth Racing?

MOD welcomed as Phumelela era ends, but then?

Business Rescue appears to be focussed up North. But what’s happening in the Cape?

Jack Swarts  writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that, whilst it is great news that the Phumelela era will soon be ending, with MOD taking over ownership of the business, I am sure that all the stakeholders in Kenilworth Racing would like answers to the following questions ASAP:

1) Will MOD also take over the management and operation of Kenilworth Racing from Phumelela?

2) Will Kenilworth Racing still be guaranteed a 26% share of the national stakes pool?

Pic for illustration only – courtesy of Chase Liebenberg

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16 comments on “So What Happens To Kenilworth Racing?

  1. P. Southey says:

    The Racing Trust owns Kenilworth Racing. Jessica Jell is on the Racing Trust. The Racing Association appoints the trustees of the Racing Trust. The majority of directors of the Racing Association are on the RTT. MOD has tied up Kenilworth Racing with a R50 million loan. Based on what I have set out, the answer to your first question is simple. On the second question, not even tge RTT and MOD knows this answer. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    1. Editor says:

      Paul Southey

  2. Steve Reid says:

    Jack perhaps I could be so rude as to answer your question with a question. Why exactly do you believe Kenilworth Racing deserves to be advantaged at Gauteng and E Cape expense by receiving a guaranteed amount that is higher than its contribution?

  3. Tony Mincione says:

    A better question might be a thought experiment: if all SA racing was under a single umbrella and offered it’s product to locals and internationals from a single base, what would racing offer runners in a Maiden Plate stakes over a weekend on Jan 1st, if all centres ran?


    I don’t understand the question you what us all to ponder over, Tony.

    If all centre’s ran on a Saturday…?

  5. B Steele says:

    Steve what is your fixation with C T racing?You are always first to weigh in for abused horses and the , Like. just think of Cape racing in the same light.

    1. Editor says:

      Hi, Please record your name

  6. B Steele says:


    1. Editor says:


  7. Brian Fredericks says:

    Good morning gentlemen hope you well why fighting over things u don’t have control of no need to just have ur say and leave it however I would like to see Cape town racing with Port Elizabeth have some stakes increase for the owner sake they putting in a lot to what makes Jo’burg beter then other provisions?

  8. Steve Reid says:

    @Tony Mincione the debate rages. Firstly let me congratulate you on choosing Jan 1 as your hypothetical date. It would make for far more interesting analysis using a date outside of Cape Town season. But I will bite. Judging on history, the field sizes for a maiden race would would be larger in the other provinces. There would be more trainers yards represented in the race in other provinces. The Cape horses sales prices would in all probability be substantially higher than those in the other provinces. Most importantly however, there would be bigger tote turnovers on the races held in other provinces, and for the purposes of racing and where Cape Town fits into the equation, is the alpha and omega of the whole situation.

    There will be no argument from me when the debate moves onto who is the strongest province insofar as breeding is concerned. There will be no debate from me when the debate moves onto which province contains the most foreign based owners. There will also be no debate from me regarding the importance of Cape racing in the South African racing scene. These are all inconsequential when it comes to stakes raced for.

    @Bevin Steele and @Brian Fredericks I can answer both your questions simply. Stakes are funded in main by profits made out of tote churn. The Western Cape as a region performs poorly in this regard. One megalomaniac fraudster decided that he wanted to race in the Cape after moving his corporate empire to Stellenbosch. Do some homework and you will see that guaranteed stakes far exceeding Cape tote performance were agreed upon to get the Western Cape into the Phumelela fold. These inflated stakes came at the expense of better performing regions. Its as simple as that.

    Racing is at a crossroads. As an owner I dont wan’t to subsidize one cent to the Cape, why should we as owners in “performing” regions race for less than what we are entitled to? It’s simple really. The Cape needs to start performing or things need to change down there. Race for 6 months of the year – the majority of your bigger yards are in KZN for the other 6 months anyway.

  9. Tony Mincione says:

    I’m glad Steve Reid got to the heart of the issue “in one”. But he is a representative of the owner class, and as a punter I don’t care that one area of racing subsidizes another.

    Especially when it comes to stakes (which is really one of the methods that operators attract horses to race in their “jurisdictions”, which is just how racings owners cut up their domain…good luck with that!)

    You would think there would be a greater co-ordination between horse owners and racings owners to plot to get consumer spending. Us consumers just want good racing and good service.

    Owners have demanded shit handicaps to fund overpriced yearlings with “at least some wins”. So now, as a system, we have the shittest handicaps as our main course.

    It’s taken a long time, but owners being “player-referees” is exactly why we are where we are. Sorry Steve/Bevin/Brian.

  10. Devan Govender says:

    Steve Reid makes a valid point, as an owner we should not be racing for reduced stakes if a province is performing poorly due to mis-management. The end result is if owners start to walk away from racing where would money come from to increase turnover thus improving stakes. Maybe Kenilworth racing and Kimberly should be bought by Betfred or Mr Rian Du Plesis and then there can be 3 racing operators namely MOD, Gold Circle and KR. Would be good competition if all 3 entities are run properly. There are some serious decisions that need to be made regarding racing in SA. There has been so much spoken about change yet nothing has come about. In my opinion the relevant bodies or individuals in-charge are to short sighted :

    1. How many punters who enjoy racing (alone or with friends) can actually go to an off course tote and enjoy the day? Maybe only 20% because totes be it Branches or agencies are run like a dump, horrible seating, poor tv screens, un-hygenic conditions, terrible ablusion facilities, staff that don’t care

    2. The state of Turffontein, Vaal, Fairview, Kenilworth is terrible. You can’t get a proper meal for the average punter, the dump across Turffontein stinks so bad (smells almost like corruption) that you can’t sit on the racecourse let alone having lunch on the deck.

    3. There is no initiative by the racing operators to educate punters and new comers on having an experience. The owners are given so much in terms of having privleges yet the majority of money coming into the tote is from the average joe in the tote and sitting on a plastic seat in the stands and not even recognized.

    4. There should be a MVP (most valued Punter) rewards initiative where punters can swipe a card at there tote outlet or racecourse and every month they could get a betting voucher or meal voucher or entry into a competition to accompany the race day presenter on-course to tip the race meeting, or even get 3 lucky winners to tip 3 races each. it must be made exciting to encourage people to come to the races and even when they at home to take in interest in races.

    5. There needs to be a marketing team involved in creating more awareness into the overseas racing, whilst i understand the need to promote our local racing the reality is that after 5pm there in only overseas racing and from 7am till 11 am the same, something must be done in partnership with Australia, Hong Kong, UK, Mauritius, France to promote their racing, a team needs to meet with these racing bodies to get some sort of carnival of some sort going in SA (yes it could be a longshot) but its worth a try to sustain the industry.

    6. More racing officials need to visit totes and racecourse and meet the public, engage and talk to them, this will strengthen the relationship between punter and operator. A CEO or executive or area manager should never feel that they are bigger than the punter because the punter pays their salary. All these executives always sit in the fancy lounge areas only mingling with the top guys, racing should be about everyone big and small.

    There must be a change in focus in order to turn the industry around, it’s not just about owners, trainers, breeders and management, the punter ,stakeholders staff all need to be part of this change. Imagine a finance clerk working for a racing operator at Turffontein or Kenilworth or Greyville and the person does not even know that racing is happening on there turf. If staff are made more aware of the industry and punting and how to bet they can encourage other people. Every staff member employed should have a tab account , they don’t have to use it but trust me come Summer cup or July or the Met they will use it and they will then continue to use it, that’s how it starts. Give each staff R30 credit when they open their account, they will tell all their friends and family about it. Word of mouth is the easiest form of marketing you don’t need to spend millions if you have they right people doing the job.

  11. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Welcome back to the fold it has been how many years.

  12. waynefouchew says:

    @Brian Fredericks – please do not even think about PE being mixed with Cape Town!! There is far too much talk doing the rounds that Fairview will be closed down soon. That would be a total disaster as PE racing’s POOLS are bigger than CT’s most of the year and the racing is more exciting (bigger fields) although of course we do not have that quality of horse flesh here.

  13. Bevin Steele says:

    Now that you are back in the fold (as per the big fella) you better get used to paying for the poor relations for some time yet.

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