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11 Dec 2019, Wed Greyville
11 Dec 2019, Wed Scottsville
12 Dec 2019, Thu Vaal
13 Dec 2019, Fri Fairview
13 Dec 2019, Fri Greyville
14 Dec 2019, Sat Kenilworth
14 Dec 2019, Sat Turffontein
15 Dec 2019, Sun Borrowdale
15 Dec 2019, Sun Scottsville
16 Dec 2019, Mon Turffontein
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South Africa South Africa 2019-12-09  Flamingo
Trainer: Corrie Lensley
Jockey: Diego De Gouveia
South Africa South Africa 2019-12-09  Flamingo
Trainer: Tienie Prinsloo
Jockey: Kabelo Matsunyane
South Africa South Africa 2019-12-09  Flamingo
Trainer: S Von Willingh Smit
Jockey: Dylan Lerena
South Africa South Africa 2019-12-09  Flamingo
Trainer: Corrie Lensley
Jockey: Cole Dicken
South Africa South Africa 2019-12-08  Scottsville
Trainer: Yogas Govender
Jockey: Billy Jacobson


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This article reflects on Phumelela and other structures and does not include Gold Circle

Horseracing in Gauteng was corporatised and totally restructured in 1997. Phumelela was formed that year and later listed on the JSE in June 2002 in order to facilitate the “corporatisation” of horseracing in Gauteng.

The beast is born, it's not too evident at first, its sort of blurry, in the beginning most decisions made by the original team running racings affairs through Phumelela take racings wellness into consideration with a clear understanding that the new structure was created for racings future and they are in their position for the very purpose of looking after racing and its participants, but soon lines appear and it becomes clear that Phumelelas needs differ vastly from racings needs, the first mistakes are made when racings wellbeing is put on the back burner and it all becomes about the company Phumelela, important decisions made are made by Phumelela people and it all becomes about a building a gaming company and South African Horseracing pays the price.

“Corporatisation” came about at the behest of the Gauteng Provincial Government in order for the sport to remain competitive within a burgeoning gambling market that was about to legalise casinos and a national lottery in South Africa.

A critical element of the restructuring was a commitment to rationalise the horseracing infrastructure in order to, inter alia, “facilitate transformation, transparency, accountability and create a sustainable business model”.​About-Us/​Background-Overview

In 1997 South Africa there were still some morals around, Oh how that has changed, no one could ever have forseen that greed, self enrichment arrogance and power hunger would reach the astronomical heights it has in just two decades. South Africa at the time of inception of the new structure was a proud nation, the spirit in which Phumelela was created was a spirit of goodwill with the understanding that racings future and wellbeing was entrusted to Phumelela and the structures comprising of the Trust and the RA, the hope ended up exposed as naivety, time would show this "blunder of epic proportions" up in great detail, the guideline at inception was to give life to a vehicle put together specifically to create a "sustainable business model for racings future, run by racings own people, this meant to carry racing to greater heights using the already well developed sturdy mass infrastructure that had been accumulated through racing and its participants over the last 150 years or so, from the sweat and blood of our racing predecessors, racings assets were now handed on a plate to a company that was supposed to be part of racing, that's why the tote was included, tasked with the nurturing and continued building of horseracing South Africa, sadly instead of Phumelela looking after horseracing horseracing ended up looking after Phumelela, we saw the first signs of damage with the selling off of our beautiful world class racecourses.
The words used at inception were Facilitate Transformation, Transparency, Accountability and to create a sustainable business model, a business model meant for racings good, for racings participants, with transparency and accountability of which there has been none, directors and executives do as they please, with my way or the hi way as the theme, Phumelela was meant to look after racing as its first priority but Phumelela management its executives and friends came first and racing became the slave, a handful of individuals became rich while racing went into distress.

Executives who could manipulate their way into the heart and head of the beast joined the free for all banquet where "dont rock the boat" was the order of the day, it was quietly abused for a time, eventually the clique formed then it became party time on the Luxurious 8 Star cruise liner, objectors and resisters were fired or forced into resignation, strategic positions were filled by friends and yes men, gone were the days when racing executives worked their way up the ladder through experience, the only requirement now was loyalty and obedience to those that pulled you on board, the era of racing being guided by well meaning stewards with pride of achievement and without reward were over, now the Phumelela mob and others specialized in corprate bulling, jobs for pals and yes men, "respect is gained when we fire people" is what one executive told those under him, transparency was never implemented or used, huge salaries, mind blowing perks now became the order of the day, the cow was properly milked to within an inch of its life.

Who knows what deals were made and what rules and guidelines where followed regarding suppliers, and who benefited from work supplied, we probably will never know, personally i would still like to find out more about where the betting vouchers went, how were they used, and what role they played in the reported 12.5 million loss by Betting World last period, it still fascinates me how the betting company lost so much, also what blew my socks off was the 400 million paid for 50 percent of Superbets. So much of racings money gone in the blink of an eye.

Can the executives massive salaries be justified?, were the increases earned?, were staff promoted from the good works done or the building of the game for racings benifit?, is the numbers they take out of racing monthly their just reward for increasing turnovers beyond natural increase? is it for good actions of furthering racings objectives and agendas? or simply because those that filled position of importance futhered one another using the slick manipulation of words, opportunists who eliminated objectors?, then what about the silence of the guardians of racing, the Trust and the RA, why are they were mute?, the clique control the racing media so the journalists were muted , but why the boards, they are successful business people in their own right but avoid controversy, so are they useful on the boards?, we need men of good strong characters to face bullies not men who shy away, in bygone years our racing stipes were referd to as the blind mice but these boards have taken blindness to a new level and so the destruction unfolded before our eyes.

A clever manipulation of facts and abuse of rights since Phumelela has taken over has led racing to the sorry state the industry now finds itself in, Phumelela was meant to be a veichle structured to ensure the longevity and health of the sport of horseracing in South Africa and not to become its master controller, run as the power hungry executives see fit, most have very little or no racing background, does this not ring bells?, at one stage both heads of two very important bodies in racing had zero racing experience between them, racings participants and the guardian bodies said nothing, not a word, anyone outspoken became known as racings enemy, the lunatic fringe, some were even called out to be banned from racing, our so called leaders and boards were meant to serve racing with transparency and accountability on behalf of all participants and to be responsible to all participants including me and you, but instead they lorded over the game and gorged themselves on its fruits, the structure created to carry racing into a new era of accountability, transformation, prosperity and transparency was thought to have been structured with safeguards with the inclusion of a Trust and the RA and a Jockey Club now known as the NHRA, the National Horseracing Authority.

"The principle objective of the Trust was to promote the interests of all persons interested in, and affected by, thoroughbred horseracing in South Africa"

Note the "all people interested in, and affected by" part, this highlights the intentions of the government at inception.​About-Us/​Background-Overview

"The Racing Association, with a membership comprising of owners and former racing club members, was established to represent the interests of owners.",

To me the current RA is not a true reflection of what was intended at conception

At inception it was meant to be the body representing all current owners, everyone a natural member by owing a horse and registration of colors, you cant argue that a owner that is a member of the RA is more worth and important than other owners who are not members, as it is now its only for owners who are paid up members of what the association has become by exclusion, I say all owners were meant to be part of the Racing Association, it was included into the structure to facilitate all owners as natural members.

The Racing Association is run by a board of directors elected from the ranks of its members. The directors appoint five of the seven trustees to the Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust, which holds racing’s 26.72% share in Phumelela. Two trustees are appointed by SASCOC.​committee-meeting/​12367/​

Part of the reason The Trust and the RA were included and empowered for was to guide and steer Phumelela and racing with a moral compass, however the incorrect understanding of the complexity of racings structure as a whole with its multi faceted entities was misunderstood by the government architects who worked on the formation of the structure and then misinterpreted by the people controlling the very same structures without challenge or objection, thus what was meant to safeguard racing is being misused and abused, this has fed the beast, and the beast is out of control.

The government's plan had flaws and those flaws are being exploited to the detriment of racing, some saw through this and opposed it, some saw nothing and accepted it, some decided to profit from it, and do so at the expense and peril of racing.

Unfortunately Phumelelas well being and racings well being differ vastly, Phumelelas agenda comes first 99% of the time, the very important decisions being made are made by Phumelela executives and their allies, they favor the company Phumelela over racing, after all it's their job and personal prosperity at stake, the silence and sometimes complicity from the safeguarding structures make sure that racings has had no one in her corner as she bleeds, racings prosperity has been on the back burner for many years and the signs of destruction are now showing, racing has been kept on a slow drip, being fed just enough to keep it alive, just enough so that it can still produce the turnovers that fuel the caviar and champagne that flow in the corridors of Phumelelas upper echelons, no expense spared, the allied executives clique are living well off racing, no worry, no slowing down, no real opposition left, the clique controls, the perks allow them to use racing as their personal cash cow and they justify the lavishness with the cry of "for the good of the game", these six words cover a multitude of sins and make strong men weak at the knee and tounge tired, however now it's so far gone that even the blind can see the mess, one only has to read the articles and comments on the few independent racing websites that are partly out of the cliques reach, to grasp the dire situation that racing has been led into, we now see the results of "their actions" and "our silence", a silence that has almost made us complicit, we have dropped the ball and I cant keep silent no more.

The beast is out of control

I dont care if I'm not an owner, member or shareholder for I am a racing participant and the protection of my interest in horseracing is a duty of the Trust, they are responsible to racings participants, this was included as a duty to the Trust in 1997 when the structure was formed.

When will someone say enough, I now call Phumelela the RA and the Trust out on the
transparency and accountability, these words were written in at conception for good reason, we must demand a professionally managed, and properly governed sport. Remember salaried men will always make plans for self enrichment, racing is not a company that the executives who earn so well have build ground up, its our racing that they are shortchanging and measures have to be put in place to restrict unbridled power in the hands of a clique with silent boards.

The inception of Phumelela and other existing structures has since proven to be the creation of a beast and the beast is out of control and it's up to us to make a stand and change the lopsided status quo.

The trainers are the ones who put in the most work, yet they are silent, one or two try stand up and are shot down, they together with the jockeys and their associations should have a far bigger say in racings affairs, trainers should be financially subsidized from cash generated by racings turnover, instantly this can eliminate the groom problem, the industry is in a shocking way, the executives and shareholders have sucked the marrow out of racing, trainers put on the show, providing fit horses brought to the course to compete and the jockeys risk life and limb with basically no say, the betting and racing experience goes on because of their efforts.

All stakeholders including the punters must be thought of before a new structure is hastily formed without consulting and considering all participants, speak up because you have a say, dont be bullied or abused, racing cannot talk for Itself.



Horses in training sale to be held at Turffontein racecourse on the 11th December 2019.

Email entries to or whatsapp on 076 724 0585

MGAS Bloodstock Horse-In-Training Sale will be held on Wednesday 11 December at 12h00 in the back parade ring at Turffontein.


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Gold circle together with Hollywood Bets have implimented a change of format with the racecards for Natal racing.
The idea is to match the saddlecloth number according to the draw, similar to the way its done in the Usa. This has never been done before in SA and punters are finding it hard to adjust.

While Hollywood together with Gold Circle have a great record for being innovate it seems they have pushed the wrong button with this one, still one must give them 10/10 because their motive is trying to do something new for the racegoer, bear in mind that it was said at the outset that its experimental so hopefully they will revert back to the old format as soon as possible.

Racings participants are used to scanning over race information in a particular fashion and with all the years of the old format never changing this has allowed punters to make their selections based on habit of what experience has instilled into them over the decades.

The change now forces punters to change the way they look at the card with continual cross reference of weights causing a break of thought and all this takes time to dissect and time is something punters dont really have.

09 Dec 2019, Mon Kimberly

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