HOSTS of this Friday’s Cape Ready To Run Sale, Cape Thoroughbred Sales have announced that they have made a very broadly considered decision to postpone the R2,5 million CTS Ready To Run Stakes, rostered for Saturday 23 November, to a slot on the Cape Fillies Guineas raceday at the same venue on Saturday 14 December.
The decision, made after extensive deliberation and consultation with stakeholders, follows a case of African Horse Sickness reported in the Nietgedacht area of Gauteng early this month.
This case placed restrictions on horses travelling from Randjesfontein, thus impacting directly on trainers Sean Tarry and Mike de Kock’s logistics to get their horses to Cape Town in time for the big race on Saturday.
Not only did the movement restrictions affect 6 of the 22 entries in the race, effectively 30% of the horses entered, but 7 of the top 10 horses, by merit rating, are Johannesburg-based, with 5 of those stabled at Randjesfontein.
Cape Thoroughbred Sales CEO Wehann Smith said that the decision to postpone the big feature three weeks was ‘certainly not taken lightly’. This particularly given the hype and interest generated by the R2,5m stake involved, and the fact that the 2019 CTS Ready to Run Sale is scheduled, with convenient good reason, for Friday 21 November, i.e. the day before the originally scheduled race date.
“When we sat down to look at the numerous considerations and what is in the very best interests of the majority, we had to accept that there was also going to be an element of inconvenience. We know that our clients would have made plans for the scheduled Sale-Raceday weekend well in advance, and fully understand that this postponement could cause some inconvenience.”
Smith added that, given the nature of the race, in that it was restricted to buyers at the 2018 CTS Ready to Run Sale, they felt that the overriding concern was to do everything possible to ensure all buyers had the very best and fair chance to have a runner.
“This could also only happen without the move prejudicing any horses, both in terms of preparation for this race, and of course for their broader goals for the rest of the season. We consulted with all trainers with entries in the race, and the balance of opinion was overwhelmingly in favour of rescheduling. This was particularly the case for the Cape-based trainers, who were as one in their support of the move. I believe this show of support is a genuine acknowledgement of their willingness to welcome the up-country trainers for the season – and that ultimately being in the best bigger picture benefit to racing in the Cape,” he added.
Smith closed by saying that he wished to reiterate again that this decision was not taken lightly and that he and his team can only hope that all stakeholders appreciate the bigger picture dynamics at play.
“On behalf of all at CTS I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused, and I hope we can count on your support.”
- Press release published by Cape Thoroughbred Sales on Monday 18 November 2019