Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA
Picture: 123RF/LUKAS GOJDA

While many sponsors of sport ran for the hills in the past six months, the exception is Durban-based betting firm Hollywoodbets which has taken the positive route and announced a new sponsorship in Ireland.

Investec’s decision to stop backing the Epsom Derby was a shock for racing two months ago and — with Covid-19 hitting company profits — the plug has been pulled on a number of sponsorships.

That is not the case with Hollywoodbets which sponsors racing in KZN at Greyville and Scottsville. They have signed a deal with Dundalk racecourse — the only all-weather track in Ireland.

Devin Heffer, brand and communications manager at Hollywoodbets, commented: “Hollywoodbets is known for its huge presence in the horse racing community in SA. So we are thrilled to be able to extend our support to the Dundalk stadium in Ireland.

“We are hoping this brings great opportunities for both our company and the stadium. We look forward to this new relationship and we are excited to see what the future has in store.”

Jim Martin, CEO of Dundalk which opened its doors in 1889, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the Hollywoodbets brand at our racecourse during the remainder of 2020.

“We look forward to seeing Hollywoodbets represented at Dundalk. We are grateful for their support of our track and Irish racing.”

Turffontein hosts an eight-race holiday meeting at the city track on Thursday, but the general public are still not allowed to attend. To be honest, they are not missing much as there are no star performers on show.

The stable of Mike and Adam Azzie is giving young jockey Jason Gates a chance and he has three mounts for the yard. The pick of the trio is likely to be Palace Assembly in the eighth race.

A son of Potala Palace, the five-year-old has been placed in each of his last three starts and can notch an overdue win from a favourable draw. The chief danger could be Paul Peter’s three-year-old Gang Leader.

Gates has an each-way chance on the Var filly Serenity in the sixth race, but the top choice in this 1,450m contest is the top-weight Mohican.

This Argentinian-bred gelding takes a significant drop in class and should go close in the hands of jockey Gavin Lerena. Another Peter inmate MK’s Pride has a better draw and could fully extend the selection.

Jacko Boy won in convincing style 12 days ago and turns out again in the first leg of the jackpot. Jockey Muzi Yeni will fancy a repeat win as his rivals in this 2,000m handicap are no worldbeaters.

Perhaps it would be wise to include League Of Her Own in exotic perms as the filly is weighted to get closer to Jacko Boy this time.

St John Gray has his team in hot form and the Randjesfontein trainer is sure to fancy his chances of winning the seventh race. He has two strings to his bow in Putins Promise and Holy Man.

Both four-year-olds have been in the money recently and perhaps a better draw will tip the scales in favour of Craig Zackey’s mount Putins Promise.

TURFFONTEIN SELECTIONS

(Thursday)

1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (1) May Queen (2) Zodiac Princess (11) Sanuk (8) Lady Of The Flame

3rd Race: (3) Electra Flying (1) Another Penny (9) Fsquadron (5) Magic Duke

4th Race: (1) Jacko Boy (3) League Of Her Own (5) Tartan Dancer (8) Ideal Cut

5th Race: (6) Creation (5) Dan The Lad (7) Pop Icon (3) Soldier On

6th Race: (1) Mohican (3) MK's Pride (5) Whipping Boy (8) Serenity

7th Race: (3) Putins Promise (2) Holy Man (1) Rock Of Africa (8) City By The Sea

8th Race: (1) Palace Assembly (12) Gang Leader (11) Phinda Mzala (5) Var Aglow

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