Poster sizes

Thin KZN field sizes are a concern

Hollywoodbets Greyville Sunday – image for illustration Sunday (Pic – Candiese Liebenberg)

Shallow fields at recent KZN race meetings, including just 64 runners with 6 scrapes thinning today’s eight-race card at Hollywoodbets Greyville, are of concern to racing authorities.

Although these are off-season races, Raf Sheik, director of Gold Circle Racing, told the Sports position that it was surprising that trainers were naming at similar levels to previous years, but when it came to statements, the picture was different.

“Our horse population is currently around 1200. But we have 800 empty boxes and it is naturally the prerogative of trainers and individual owners to come to Cape Town,” added Sheik, who pointed out that KZN needed to organize 120 races this quarter versus last season’s 108. That was in terms of Tabcorp commitments.

A look at Cape Racing’s guestbook shows five KZN trainers traveling to the mother city with 62 horses.

This shouldn’t really impact field sizes at around 5% of the East Coast population, but includes big local players like Peter Muscutt, Gareth van Zyl, Gavin van Zyl, Dennis Drier and Yogas Govender. Other unconfirmed bookings at this stage include Duncan Howells and Wendy Whitehead.