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Racing’s Sad Heritage

A stark reminder of the damage done!

Introduced in 2016 after the closure of the Vaal sand track, the Grand Heritage was touted to become South Africa’s equivalent of famous big field handicaps like The Cesarewitch, The Cambridgeshire and the Tote Ebor, which are three of the biggest annual betting heats in England.

Irish Pride (Gavin Lerena) wins the 2016 Grand Heritage for Laurence Wernars (Pic – JC Photos)

The race was run in its opening year for a stake of R750 000 and paid cheques all the way down to 15th finisher, as long as 28 ran.

What made it unique was that a capacity field of 28, as opposed to the regular number of 20, could be accommodated.

The race is open to all horses with a net merit rating of 106 and below, and thus gives the slightly lesser gallopers the chance to earn nice prize money.

On Saturday, as if we needed reminding, the fifth renewal illustrates the sad reality of the sport’s fall from grace.

In that opening year, a Grand Jackpot – four fields of 28 runners was offered. On Saturday, the four jackpot races consist of 9, 8, 17 – with the consolation race only starting 10 horses.

Only 17 acceptors will start in the headline feature from the 56 nominations originally received.

The stake is now R150 000.

Well done to staunch racing sponsors World Sports Betting. They rescued Saturday’s Gauteng Summer Cup and they have come to the party again.

On Saturday, Oscar Wilde, from the Mike de Kock stable, has been priced up 7-2 favourite. The four-year-old son of Dynasty has been allotted 52kg and will be ridden by Callan Murray.

Expressfromtheus is next best at 5-1 on the bookmakers’ boards. Stuart Pettigrew’s charge will be ridden by Marco van Rensburg and carries joint top weight of 60kg with Mike and Adam Azzie-trained Full Mast who has S’manga Khumalo up.

Rouge Allure will be well suited to the course and distance and the Stephen Moffatt-trained mare is next best at 11-2.

Clinton Binda’s Whorly Whorly won the final race on Summer Cup day under Piere Strydom but Jason Gates is in the saddle on Saturday with Strydom riding All Of Me for Corne Spies.

(Turf / Straight) R150 000 1475m 16:20 Ref-403
1st R90000, 2nd R37500, 3rd R15000, 4th R7500
WSB GRAND HERITAGE (Non-Black Type)
For Horses rated nett 106 and below
WFA: 4yrs-0kgs 3yrs-6kgs
No Apprentice Allowance
1 9 ExpressFromTheUS 60 101 A M V’Rensburg Stuart Pettigrew
2 13 Full Mast 60 101 BA S Khumalo M G Azzie/A A Azzie
3 16 Rouge Allure 59 99 TBA G Lerena Stephen Moffatt
4 10 Whorly Whorly 57.5 96 *J Gates Clinton Binda
5 11 Finchatton 57 95 BA J Greyling Gokhan Terzi
6 12 Dan The Lad 56.5 94 A M Yeni Paul Matchett
7 15 Golden Pheasant 56 93 A C Maujean Corne Spies
8 6 Naafer (AUS) 56 93 T A *L J Ferraris Mike de Kock
9 1 What You Are 56 93 A P Strydom Corne Spies
10 5 Strada Statale 52.5 86 A L Hewitson St John Gray
11 2 Spanish Boy 52 85 T A C Zackey +1.0 Lucky Houdalakis
12 8 Diorama 52 84 BA *N Klink Mike de Kock
13 3 Oscar Wilde 52 82 BA C Murray Mike de Kock
14 4 Elusive Swann 52 81 A C Habib +0.5 Paul Matchett
15 14 True Words 52 78 A J Penny Corne Spies
16 17 Stop For Nothing 52 76 TBA C Bantam Stephen Moffatt
17 7 Street Flyer (AUS) 52 58 BAM *J R Syster Paul Matchett
Same Trainer – Not Coupled on Tote
(3,16) (6,14,17) (7,9,15) (8,12,13)

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5 comments on “Racing’s Sad Heritage

  1. hilton witz says:

    The same can be said about the chapter challenge series which runs on sunday for a stake of 75k down from 200k a few years ago ..Field sizes of 6 9 and 11 compared to full fields not to long ago

  2. Bill Jacobs says:

    Don’t blame racing. It’s the racing authorities who have butchered the sport through greed ineptitude and ignorance. The people haven’t a clue nor do they want to know what the punter wants. They think that political correctness will fix the greatest sport ever.
    I am talking as someone who for over 30 years never missed a race meeting . People have been duped since the inception of the great saviour Pumelela and their incompetent minions at Goldcircle.
    What a pathetic horror story. As for the poor owners whose passion and love for the game is unrivalled I truly bleed for you because I shared the love. Today when I turn in to Teletrack I want to puke so I don’t bother to be aggravated. How many others are there like me ?

  3. John Mynhardt says:

    When will something be done ??? It seems never…

  4. Dudley de Jongh says:

    Agree Bill,Lots of regular punters have walked away from the sport they love.Seems like the top brass wants to have the sport for only a select few.You know the old adage “how many kings do you see at a racecourse?”

  5. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hi Bill, you have summed up Teletrack to a tee, listening to the
    garbage spewed out by the presenters day in and day out has turned many punters away from the game. I blame the personnel who are responsible for placing incompetent presenters in these positions, this situation should be treated with urgency as it is going from bad to worse. “ just gotten up” , an expression used regularly by one of the presenters is just one example that continues to aggravate the punters.Trying to maintain a Rolls Royce with secondhand parts doesn’t work, it is about time Teletrack catches a wake up!

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