This Was A Bad Result For South African Horseracing

SA Champions Season - not quite!

A sad day for SA horseracing. That’s the only way of describing the outrageous abomination of a protest that followed the scratching of leading Highveld 3yo Main Defender from the IOS Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday, and saw the police called out to try and quell a revolt that has been simmering for months.

In a civilized country where the rule of law must apply, how can the emotional reactions and patent bad sportsmanship of so few, create such an inconvenience and disastrous outcome for so many?

As we put it to NHA CEO Vee Moodley, this was surely bad for horseracing?

But can we blame the punters that bankered the son of Pathfork in a variety of bets?

NHA CEO Vee Moodley debates a point with Frankie Zackey (Pic – Supplied)

“The rules are rules. To the contrary, the levelling of the playing fields is good for horseracing,” Vee Moodley added as the chaotic show ensued at the exit to the parade ring, with all of Mike de Kock, Tony Rivalland and Garth Puller weighing in, amongst a mixed crowd of fired up connections and angry punters.

“I understand the anger. I have been there. But this is not the way to resolve matters. Rather take the moral high ground and sort it out through the proper channels,” implored Mike de Kock, as leading owner Suzette Viljoen stepped in and urged the baying mob and the MD connections to allow sanity to prevail and racing to continue.

Charl Pretorius’ sweetly timed piece on the 4Racing website this week outlines the various angles pertaining to TCO2 testing, and veteran horseman Garth Puller said that there were so many factors at play in a horse’s TCO2 levels, that he’d suggest that Main Defender be retested on Sunday morning after breakfast.

The cops listen to angry punters (Pic – Supplied)

“I had a recent positive. I have never milkshaked or drenched in all my years. So there are variables at play. Main Defender, like my horse, may be an outlier. But that’s something we need to resolve. This is so not good for horseracing”, he added.

The reality is that the NHA have their rules, and they are there to ensure level playing fields.

The new fields for Wednesday- click here.

But why are we waiting for well on five months to resolve the Betway Summer Cup day debacle?

In the interests of safety, after we believe threats were made to horses, Gold Circle opted to reschedule the features to Wednesday.

That’s not a winner in anybody’s book.

Think of the host of connections, who travelled, who planned, who hoped, and then were left with little more than a lunch at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

SA horseracing needs strong leadership – today. Otherwise we are doomed. Stakeholders don’t need this kind of circus! 

In another indictment on a forgettable Saturday, TAB advises that the Place Accumulator and Jackpot pools on the Newmarket meeting in England have been declared null and void, and all bets will be refunded.

A media release that unfortunately, due to certain automated processes, TAB sheets and fields published on other platforms for the Newmarket meeting contain contradictory information regarding the starting legs of both bets, leaving no option but to null and void both pools. TAB and TAB Gold apologise for the inconvenience.

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