Stakes Boosted Champions Season Is Going To Be A Cracker

R10 million top-up by Hollywoodbets

We are just past the halfway mark of the 2022/23 racing season, and with a host of new generation champions having put their hands up, Gold Circle is looking forward to welcoming the best from all over South Africa to KwaZulu-Natal.

In a welcome good news announcement on Thursday, Gold Circle CEO Michel Nairac revealed that in addition to the budgeted R7,4 million Rand stakes increase due on 1 March, longstanding KZN racing supporters Hollywoodbets would be topping up the KZN stakes pot with a whopping additional R10 million.

“The Board and Management of Gold Circle, together with all stakeholders, thank Hollywoodbets for stepping forward again to ensure that we can host this well-established platform to attract a wide range of the best horses from across the country, and that owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms will benefit at all levels,” said a delighted Nairac.

Chairperson of Gold Circle, Sadha Naidoo, echoed those sentiments – “We are committed to hosting a great Champions Season – we owe that to all stakeholders, but this would not have been possible without the continued, willing and enthusiastic support of Hollywoodbets. We are most grateful for this amazing partnership.”

Hollywoodbets Durban July Day is the pinnacle of the SA Champions Season (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The distribution of the R17,4 million will see minimum stakes for any races in the province during the period raised to R100 000 and will cater for an adjustment to stakes levels and Grooms benefits until 31 August 2023. Importantly, it will also ensure that stakeholders are rewarded for quality.

The news of the stakes boost was positively received, with Gr1-winning trainer Dean Kannemeyer, who has been a player in the Champions Season for over four decades, welcoming the injection and lauding Hollywoodbets for their support.

“Things really are looking up. The team are doing a terrific job down in the Cape, and the very attractive winter programme has had a makeover of serious proportions. I will certainly be supporting the KZN season. I may be leaving the Cape a little later than usual, but let’s face it, the Champions Season is the Champions Season! It is a terrific time to race, all the top horses are there, and the climate is simply wonderful,” added Kannemeyer.

Speaking on behalf of Hollywoodbets, Brand & Communications Manager, Devin Heffer commented, “The Champions Season has long been regarded as the jewel in the South African racing calendar. We are only too pleased to play a part in helping it retain that status, and reinforcing our commitment to, and support of the sport of racing. It will be a cracker!”

Team Kannemeyer will be back for Champions Season (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

As the sun sets on the Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Summer Festival of racing down South with the running of the SplashOut Gr1 Cape Derby on 25 February, and the Highveld’s The Championships already underway, plans are in progress to launch the 2023 SA Champions Season at the Theatre Of Champions on 6 May with the running of the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes and the World Sports Betting Guineas and Fillies Guineas.

One of the Southern Hemisphere’s great horseracing festivals, the season features 37 stakes races including 13 at the elite level in a diverse three-month programme that captures the imagination of the racing public, like no other.

Gold Circle’s SA Champions Season is a proud and long-established tradition and reaches a heady climax with Africa’s greatest horseracing event, the R5 million Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July, which will be run at Hollywoodbets Greyville on 1 July.

Further announcements, including the 2023 Champions Season Feature programme, will follow in due course.

  • Media release by Gold Circle on Thursday 16 February 2023

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