The exciting visual and sensory experience of racing under the lights is available again to punters from next Tuesday when the Highveld Night Racing Season gets under way. The season runs during the warmer months from this week to the end of April.
Phumelela’s Racing Executive Patrick Davis said he was excited by what he described as a ‘cracking card’ for their opening of 16 night meetings on Tuesday 16 October.
“I am thrilled that we are starting with a bang! We landed up with a card of ten races as I split two events due to the huge demand to run. The fields are of a particularly high quality too. The meeting also marks the Turffontein standside track’s first meeting back after its annual spring treatment and it is in mint condition,” he said.
Sales & Marketing Executive Clyde Basel echoed the sentiment and confirmed that fifteen Tuesday night racing dates have been programmed in the season.
They are : Tuesday 16 October, 23rd October, which features the Yellowwood and Java, the 13th November, Friday 16th November, which includes the International Jockeys Challenge.
Then on to the 20th November, the 4th December and the 18th December, with no feature races.
On New Year’s Day 1st January the Lebelo Sprint will be featured. The meeting on 15th January features the Swallow Stakes, followed by a meeting on 22nd January. The 12th February meeting features the Tommy Hotspur.
Meetings are also scheduled on 26th February, 12th March,2nd April and then the 9th April meeting will feature the Empress Club Stakes. This may yet be moved to a Friday.
The season ends on 30 April.
Three of Phumelela’s major feature Saturdays during this period, namely the SA Classic meeting at the end of March, the Charity Mile meeting at the beginning of November and the Sansui Summer Cup meeting in early December will be held as day / night meetings where the last few races are run under lights into the early evening.
Special events to look forward to in the short-term include the day/night meeting on 3 November featuring the Gr1 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile. The 36 entries received include two Port Elizabeth raiders.
The entries are:
ACT OF SUPREMEACY (J H Strydom); APPROACHABLE (G V Woodruff); ASTRO NEWS (B O Wiid); BARACAH (S G Tarry); BERRY BLAZE (M F De Kock); BROOKS-CLUB (M G Azzie); BUY AND SELL (S G Tarry); CHESALON (M G Azzie); EXTRA COVER (A G Laird); GLORIOUS JET (S J Gray); GOLDEN CREST (G V Woodruff); ILHA BELA (M F De Kock); KALAMI (R R Sage); KNOCK ON WOOD (O A Ferraris); LINK MAN (M F De Kock); MEADOW MAGIC (M F De Kock); MEISSA (G M Alexander); MUJAARIB (M F De Kock); NORTHERN EMPEROR (C Laird); PERANA (M F De Kock); PIERRE JOURDAN (G M Alexander); POTALA PALACE (M G Azzie); RIO CARNIVAL (C Laird); ROMAN WALL (S G Tarry); ROYAL BENCHER (A G Laird); RUSSIAN MIG (J H Strydom); SELBORNE SUPREMACY (S G Tarry); SILENT PARTNER (M F De Kock); SILVER FLYER (M F De Kock); SMANJEMANJE (T Zackey); SNOWDON (O A Ferraris); THE MOUSEKETEER (S G Tarry); WHITELINE FEVER (S G Tarry); WITTENBERG (G V Woodruff); YER-MAAN (S J Gray); ZORBA’S TALE (M N Houdalakis).
On 16 November the Racing Association’s fifth International Jockeys Challenge will be held at Turffontein. The second leg is at Greyville in Durban on 18 November.
The challenge will be sponsored this year by Avis Coach Charter. The Protea team includes the first four on the national jockeys’ log last season, Anton Marcus, Gavin Lerena, Anthony Delpech and Piere Strydom. The confirmed international riders are Richard Hughes, Jamie Spencer, Jimmy Fortune and Tom Queally.
The Victory Moon Stakes has moved to that evening of 16 November, reverting to its previous slot two weeks before the Sansui Summer Cup. Alec Laird’s very smart Go Deputy gelding Pessoa will be looking to seal his Summer Cup berth and is likely to start as one of the fancied runners in the race.
The Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup hosted by Gauteng, will be held as a day/night meeting on 1 December.