Horseracing at Turffontein. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Horseracing at Turffontein. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

The racing industry needs to work together like never before, is the message from Andrew Harding, Asian Racing Federation (ARF) secretary-general, who addressed delegates at this week’s 38th Asian Racing Conference in Cape Town.

Harding welcomed guests on behalf of ARF chair Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who has remained in Hong Kong due to the coronavirus affecting racing in the former British colony.

In an ARF media release, Harding said: “As an industry we need to work together like never before. Organisations such as the ARF and IFHA (International Federation of Horse racing Authorities) will play an increasingly important role.”

Harding added: “The numerous challenges facing racing ... include the importance of maintaining the visibility and relevance of racing, the threat from illegal betting, the effect of climate change, challenges to the integrity of the sport and animal welfare concerns.

“The SA industry has laboured hard to overcome the barriers created by African Horse Sickness and the ARF has been committed to assisting it. A great deal has been achieved and, most recently, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has been very pleased to provide seed funding for the development of a new vaccine. We hope that we are now very close to the movement of horses direct from SA to Europe being restored.

“Our sport has huge potential if only we can confront the challenges and grasp the opportunities before us,” Harding said.

Ken Truter, outgoing chair of the National Horseracing Authority, thanked Engelbrecht-Bresges for assisting in addressing SA’s challenges especially in relation to African Horse Sickness and international horse movements.

“It is my sincere wish that this conference will be a springboard from which we can launch the next era of strong, vibrant and successful racing and breeding in our great country,” Truter said.

Meanwhile, the final big race of the Cape Summer season — the ARF Commemorative Derby — takes place at Kenilworth on Saturday with 13 runners set to face the starter in this grade 1 event.

Trainer Glen Kotzen’s Oratorio gelding Viva Rio tops the betting boards with the Justin Snaith duo of Silver Host and Sachdev second and third favourites for the 2,000m race.

Bookies beat all four fancied runners in the Sun Met and Gauteng bookmaker Lance Michael feels it could be the same scenario on Saturday.

“We’ve got Viva Rio at 2-1 which is a bigger price than many others. My thinking is that he’s not guaranteed to stay 2,000m which he's trying for the first time,” said Michael on Thursday.

Michael has Silver Host as the second favourite at 4-1 with stablemate Sachdev quoted at 5-1. Both are sons of top stallion Silvano.

The intriguing question is whether jockey Richard Fourie has picked the right mount in opting for Silver Host. He has ridden both geldings a number of times and his decision leaves S’manga Khumalo to partner Sachdev for the first time.

TURFFONTEIN SELECTIONS

1st Race: (1) Creation (2) Opening Gambit (5) Zuluonmystep (10) Soldiers Song

2nd Race: (14) Winter Stories (11) South East (3) Edaara (1) Bowie

3rd Race: (3) Dubawi Princess (9) Sacred Lotus (13) War Of Athena (12) Ululate

4th Race: (11) Western Vision (2) Intothemystic (1) Blow Me Down (3) Waimea

5th Race: (6) Basadi Faith (1) Mardi Gras (2) Rebel’s Champ (4) Mombela

6th Race: (4) Frosted Steel (5) Stage Dance (1) Gaian Glory (2) Gallic Princess

7th Race: (3) Wild Date (1) Secret Dream (2) Heart Stwings (4) Evening Bell

8th Race: (2) Theravada (1) Magic Mila (9) Bouncing Tiger (7) Hit For Six

9th Race: (16) Sacred Dawn (2) Kool Baikal (1) Ideal Man (14) Leading Lad

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