GOLD Circle and Phumelela have established a central office at Greyville racecourse in Durban to handle entries, declarations and card changes for all race meetings in South Africa.
The National Racing Bureau (NRB), which comes on stream from Monday, February 28, is part of the industry’s bid to streamline the administration of the sport to provide a more efficient service to all role players and eliminate, as far as possible, any potential for errors.
A security feature that is allied to the new system is that all trainers, jockeys and their agents will have their own security code and the Bureau will decline to deal with anyone not offering a valid code.
The Bureau, headed by Gold Circle’s Racing Operations Manager, Colin Aitken, will be manned by a total staff compliment of 12 incorporating four members who will relocate from Gauteng to Durban.
The Bureau will utilize similar strategies to those of Weatherbys in the United Kingdom which deals with 59 racetracks with a staff compliment of 24. Colin Aitken recently visited Weatherbys in order to evaluate their system and utilized those procedures that are pertinent and beneficial to the operation in our country. Dedicated teams will handle specific areas of entries and declarations to ensure the speedy handling of calls.
With a highly sophisticated telephone call centre and computer system and with slight adjustments to the existing entry and declaration days to spread the work load more evenly over the week, the Bureau is expected to offer the role players a more efficient service.
The Bureau is to encourage trainers and jockeys to telephone rather than telefax as the Bureau staff will input the information directly into the computers, and the information will be called back for confirmation. The chances of errors occurring will be drastically reduced, and all calls will be recorded to eliminate the possibility of disputes.
The National Racing Bureau is a joint operation between Gold Circle and Phumelela and is an endeavour to unify and combine its operations in those areas where there is a common operation.
For the present, trainers will be allowed to fax or email relevant information through to the Bureau. They will, however, need to follow up the fax or email with a telephone call to ensure the information has been correctly received. Due to the propensity for error fax communications will eventually be phased out.
There are plans for an on-line facility to be introduced enabling trainers to enter horses for events and make declarations from their own computers anytime of the day or night. It will also enable them to monitor declarations relating to all horses entered in events of interest to them with the information being updated on a real time basis.
With effect from Monday, February 28, the NRB telephone number to call will be: (031) 314 1777. The telefax number is (031) 314 1797. The email address is email@example.com and the on-line facility will be accessed by www.sahorseracing.co.za.