From Chaos To Reform

What is SA horseracing's path forward?

WhatsApp forums, e-mails and racing websites have been abuzz since the recent TC02 testing fiasco at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

Charl Pretorius writes in his Off The Record column on the 4Racing website that owners, trainers and racing fans are gravely concerned about the state of our industry following the cancellation of the racemeeting as a result of a public protest against the scratching of Main Defender.

South African horseracing’s notorious rumour mill immediately went into overdrive, with reports circulating about NHA officials being assaulted, protesters inebriated and armed, and punters shouting obscenities at officials.

Amidst the chaos, NHA CEO Vee Moodley was reportedly on the brink of a physical altercation and had to be led away.

The accusations of misconduct against trainer Tony Peter and his family flared up all of Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Gold Circle issued a press release promising sanctions against those responsible for the protest.

On Sunday, however, the focus shifted in an unexpected way when a runner trained by Justin Snaith received an above-the-limit pre-race TC02 test at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth. A second Snaith scratching followed.

If ever a cat was set among pigeons, this was it. The sample taken from Summer Lily was still warm when a meme making fun of Snaith was distributed, possibly to every horseracing fan with a functioning smart phone.

On Sunday evening, Snaith came out in support of the NHA’s TC02 testing procedures. Moodley, commenting in an article entitled, ‘A Bad Day for SA Racing’, said, “The rules are rules. To the contrary, the levelling of the playing fields is good for horseracing.”

This confirmed Moodley’s firm stance on rules relayed in our article last week, ‘The TC02 Testing Conundrum’, when he said, “alkalization of a horse on a race day is a IFHA prohibited practice regardless of causation.”

The rules appeared to be a tad more flexible on Tuesday when Turf Talk reported that the NHA had agreed to a ‘concession’, that despite an international norm of a 36.0 mmol/L threshold level for TCO2, in SA the threshold would be raised one point to 37.0 mmol/L.

Tony Peter, meanwhile, issued a statement in which he categorically denied involvement in any doping or unlawful activities and suggested that the stable had been become a target due to jealousy in within the industry.

Read the full story here!

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Charl Pretorius writes in his Off The Record column on the 4Racing website that owners, trainers and racing fans are gravely concerned about the state of our industry

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