Cape Racing severed ties with the Racehorse Owners Association for ‘substantial reasons’ after a due diligence conducted at the instigation of Greg Bortz shortly after the entrepreneur’s arrival in the corridors of power of the top racing region in 2022.
In an address to attendees at the Cape Racing and Breeding Awards on Friday evening Bortz stayed on a straight line of diplomacy, while pulling no punches, saying that ‘I didn’t like what I saw’.
He explained that the focus of Cape Racing was on owners and the newly formed Cape Turf Club will be the umbrella to ensure a best experience for the sector going forward.
Bortz pointed out that the Equus Awards were no longer hosted by the ROA after the Cape had indicated that they would not be part of the national awards under the owner body.
“The awards this year still had the same look and feel as it was hosted by 4Racing. The Equus Awards going ahead will be rotated between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and we promise a stupendous event when it’s our turn in 2024,” he added.
Trainers were advised last week that as from 1 August, Nomination and Acceptance fees payable for runners in the Eastern Cape and on the Highveld would no longer be collected and retained by the Racehorse Owners Association.
The fees for races run during the period from 1 August 2023 onwards, will now be retained and collected by 4Racing.
Bortz also said that the return to racing at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth from the country course has been delayed until Saturday 11 November 2023. This is as a result of the makeover timeline, which he said includes brand new jockey and horse-friendly rails to replace those in use for what feels like a lifetime.
Other necessary changes to the programme as a result of the extended stay at Hollywoodbets Durbanville will be the Listed Southeaster Sprint on 21 October being run over a shorter distance of 1000m, as well as the Gr3 Cape Mile and Listed Laisserfaire Stakes being moved to Saturday 11 November, alongside the Listed Western Cape Fillies Championship, at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.
Racing expert Charles Faull called Bortz’ ‘I don’t believe in being Switzerland’ the quote of the year.