Cape Racing has announced changes to the dates of certain feature race meetings this summer as a result of the ongoing construction, renovation and enhancement works at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.
Racing will now return to the revamped racecourse on Sunday 26 November.
Justin Vermaak, Racing & Bloodstock Executive for Cape Racing, said that the renovations and changes were essential to deliver on the promise of a world-class race day experience for the Summer feature season, which includes the Cape’s seven-meeting ‘Summer Festival of Champions’ that will commence on Hollywoodbets Kenilworth’s opening day and end with the Grade 1 SplashOut Cape Derby on Saturday 24 February.
Leading Milnerton trainer Dean Kannemeyer was in the hard-hat touring party, including many of his colleagues, who were hosted at the Southern Suburbs track on Thursday. He was suitably impressed.
“While we have already witnessed so much change and improvement in the region at various levels, seeing what is going on here and what is planned for our flagship racecourse, is quite breathtaking,” said Kannemeyer, who added that the vision and investment by Greg Bortz and Hollywoodbets, including the upgrading of training facilities, was unparalleled in his lifetime of racing in the Cape.
“I have been fortunate to race at various racecourses around the world, and Hollywoodbets Kenilworth is well on its way to holding its own amongst the best internationally. Everything takes time and I’m really looking forward to seeing the end product,” he added.
Watch the tour:
Donovan Everitt, the COO of Cape Racing, expressed the organisation’s unwavering commitment to innovation and progress, stating, “Our dedication to technological enhancements in this initial phase of the project is self-evident, as demonstrated by the installation of new-age digital screens throughout our facility and racecourse, amongst other improvements. This includes unveiling one of the continent’s largest outdoor screens and an enhanced sound system that promises to elevate event and racing experiences.
Looking ahead, Everitt provided insight into the future, saying, “Phase 2 of our extensive upgrades, scheduled for 2024, will introduce our revolutionary “Sportstainment” offering. This innovative blend of sports and entertainment promises an unprecedented experience for our valued visitors. The vision for Hollywoodbets Kenilworth’s vision is quite unique, setting the stage for an unparalleled entertainment and lifestyle destination. The first phase is already in progress, and our patrons can anticipate many improvements, including the state-of-the-art digital screens, enhanced sound systems, a world-class winners enclosure, and a revitalised owners’ lounge and hospitality facilities.”
Racing fans, owners and trainers are asked to make a note of the following changes to Cape Racing’s pattern races:
-The Western Cape Fillies Championship, the Cape Mile, and the Laisserfaire Stakes will be staged at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on 11 November. The Laisserfaire will be run over 1000m instead of 1100m.
-The Sophomore Sprint, the Bantry Bay and the Futurity Plate will be moved from 18 to 26 November so that they can be contested up the straight at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, the Sophomore and the Bantry Bay being preparation runs for the Gr2 Cape Merchants on 10 December.
Vermaak noted: “As a result of the ongoing construction, the prep races and the Merchants will be just two weeks apart. We are, therefore, shortening the distance of the Bantry Bay from 1200m to 1100m, which should aid the recovery of the older sprinters.
“With the shortened recovery time, two weeks instead of three, we felt that dropping the distance by 100m was a better choice than keeping the sprints at Hollywoodbets Durbanville and running them around the turn. The Futurity Plate, a race for two-year-olds over 800m, is best suited to Hollywoodbets Kenilworth. It is the first ‘baby’ race of the season.”
The ongoing transformation at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth extends beyond the traditional racecourse.
While it is premature for Cape Racing to share with the public at large its detailed plans for the property, the transformation of Hollywoodbets Kenilworth into a lifestyle destination unparalleled on the African continent is well underway.
A new and adjusted November race programme is available online on the NRB website.