53, Going On 21, Bortz Is Fired Up For Cape Racing!

Happy birthday Greg!

Cape Racing’s ‘ball of fire’ Executive Chairman Designate Greg Bortz celebrates his 53rd birthday today.

Arguably South African horseracing’s singularly most effective administrator cum architect of change in the 21st century, the once retired entrepreneur has presided over 90 days of refreshing business philosophy turnarounds, quantum jumps to the left and right, and sea change that has opened eyes and given stakeholders a genuine sense of hope.

Greg Bortz – loves his horses

“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be speaking to the Sporting Post from my office at Kenilworth on my 53rd birthday. Believe me, I was very happily retired – and very relaxed – before this exciting project came along! Today feels like my first birthday in my first ever job 33 odd years ago. My philosophy has always been to never take a day for granted, and we are determined to make every one count again,” he reflected as he spoke of the size of the challenge facing the team.

“There are so many things to fix. But we are doing it positively and to order, and while there is no guarantee that we will succeed, one thing is for sure, we will not fail because of not having invested the capital, done our best and more, and sweated blood in the process.”

We actually landed up talking to Mr Bortz earlier this week as a Sporting Post reader had raised the issue of the price of boerewors rolls at Hollywoodbets Durbanville. While the top man’s job function probably doesn’t include micro-managing catering, we took a chance and he actually came back to us in under 5 minutes!

“In the general area downstairs you can buy a boerewors roll and a beer for R50. I’m not sure how much cheaper we can make the boerie roll, but I promise to investigate as our focus is on listening to the punter. In the limited time window to set up at Hollywoodbets Durbanville, our first priority was to make the food offering well-rounded and decent.”

While he concedes that he is the world’s worst delegator and deep down loves to ‘sweat the small stuff’, Greg says that his single biggest encouragement and achievement after his first 90 days in office has been the quality of the team.

“We really do have an outstanding team and I am proud of the spirit of willingness and energy to make a difference.”

Talking to people and making it happen!

It’s clear that a new wave of ‘Bortz-power’ infused enthusiasm has taken Kenilworth by storm.

“When last have you walked into our offices? Before we introduced the changes, a visitor to Kenilworth probably wouldn’t have known whether widgets or horseracing was our core product. We have lifted the vibe – the television sets are on racing and every team member is on the same page and knows why they are there and where we all want to get to.”

So will there be a party this evening and the customary cake with candles?

“Gina (Goldsmith) and I are off to Babylonstoren in the Franschhoek Valley for the weekend. Monday morning I will be back in office as there is a helluva lot to do yet,” he laughed.

And any goals to reach before he hits 54?

“Well, Cape Racing is a work-in-progress so there is a long list to tick off there. And then personally, I’d really like to start enjoying actually watching my own horses again. It’s been a hectic few months – but I’m determined to get back to my racing fundamentals! I am only here because I love this game.”

Happy birthday Greg!

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