Picture: 123RF/OSTILL
Picture: 123RF/OSTILL

A succession of upsets — primarily in the Pick 6 — has sparked speculation that punters are deserting the sport as winning days are few.

There has been much debate on the Sporting Post website, and here are some comments that suggest some change is needed to make winning easier for those placing bets:

• "Racing has become a guessing game and not a game of skill. You’ve got a better chance of winning the lotto."

• "SA racing has lost the plot and punters are becoming very wary and cautious regarding the industry. It seems to be a pattern every meeting and every centre where the upset result is being produced in the penultimate or very last race."

• "Until new players can be persuaded that racing can be fun and worth the involvement, the spiral will continue."

Another Pick 6 eluded punters at the Vaal last Thursday, with a 45-1 winner causing a mass exit. As a result, there was a R569,000 carry-over from a gross pool of R786,000.

Vee Moodley, Phumelela’s sports betting executive, said: "I am aware of the Vaal pools, and Scottsville also showed poor turnovers. The highest turnovers are normally between the 25th to the seventh of the following month. It is at this time, between the 10th and 20th, that we see the biggest dip.

"The results have also been tough and that affects the churn factor tremendously as well. We expect things to be back to normal by Friday [May 25]."

Moodley will be hoping the numerous forthcoming Pick 6 carry-overs will help to boost the pools. These are the carry-overs at various racecourses.

• May 26: Scottsville Racecourse. Carryover R1m. Predicted pool R3.9m;

• May 26: Kenilworth Racecourse. Carryover R300,000. Predicted pool R1.4m;

• May 27: Turffontein Racecourse. Carryover R500,000. Predicted pool R2.7m;

• June 1: Fairview. Carry-over R250,000. Predicted pool R1m;

• June 2: Greyville. Carry-over R1m. Predicted pool R4m;

• June 2: Kenilworth. Carry-over R100,000. Predicted pool R1m;

• June 3: Turffontein. Carry-over R400,000. Predicted pool R2.5m.

Last Saturday’s winner of the R500,000 World Sports Betting Greyville 1,900, Elusive Silva, was not a strong fancy and started at 9-1. But trainer Justin Snaith will be delighted with the win as his charge is now certain of a place in the final field for the Vodacom Durban July.

The late withdrawal of the favourite, Pack Leader, made Elusive Silva’s task easier, but this was another impressive ride by 2017’s winning July jockey, Bernard Fayd’Herbe.

• Protest action by grooms, led by members of the EFF, at the Randjesfontein Training Centre in Midrand on Sunday resulted in 44 horses being withdrawn from the meeting at Turffontein.

Despite this the meeting went ahead, though the day’s feature event was postponed until next weekend. Just what effect this will have on Tuesday’s nine-race programme at the Vaal remains to be seen.

Mike de Kock trains the fancied runner, Sirtain, who has been priced up as 33-10 favourite for the sixth race, run over 1,000m.