Joey Thought He ‘Would Die In SA’

Concerns about Cape and SA racing

News that former Cape champion trainer Joey Ramsden had been given the green light to move to Singapore came as a shock to many locals who rate him as one of the greatest exponents of one of the most complex professions in a tricky industry.

Joey Ramsden – a world-class trainer

Ramsden is believed to have flown out to Singapore earlier this week on a reconnaissance mission to survey the world-class facilities.

It must be stressed that nothing has been finalised as yet.

He told Michael Clower in an article carried in the Racing Post that the Singapore training facilities are ‘different class’.

“The prize-money is huge, owners’ incentives are massive and there is the opportunity to trade, which is just not possible in South Africa,” he added.

Ramsden has sent out more than 1750 winners since taking out a licence in Cape Town in 1996-97, including 26 Gr1’s headed by The Conglomerate in the 2016 Durban July and dual horse of the year Variety Club, whose overseas victories with Ramsden included the Godolphin Mile at Meydan in 2014.

Ramsden star Twist Of Fate cost just R20 000 (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

In an email to owners, Ramsden said: “I have dire concerns about the future of Cape racing and racing in South Africa in general.”

Asked by Michael Clower about this, he said: “I don’t want to come across as a whiner. I love Cape racing and it has been absolutely fabulous to me, but stakes are not going to go up. The way fields have been filling, or rather not filling, they are going to cut races, and I don’t blame them. I am not being nasty but it is going to happen.”

Ramsden also feels his present rewards are not enough, saying: “I can have six winners in a month and my percentages will come to less than R30 000 (£1 620) after tax – what is left for me and my operation?

“These are the facts and I can’t go on ignoring them. It is sad because I love it here and I always thought I would die in South Africa.”

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