PHUMELELA have announced the inauguration of an exciting and innovative race meeting at the Vaal racecourse which allows for fields of up to 28 runners plus two reserves in four lucrative races, including a R750,000 feature event. World Sports Betting are the sponsor.
The Grand Heritage, a conditions race for all horses, will be run over 1475m on October 1 this year. The rails dividing the Inside and Outside Vaal racecourses will be taken down for the meeting, leaving one wide racecourse. This rail is moved regularly on an ad hoc basis for normal meetings so taking it away will not have any effect on the going.
The R750,000 prize money will be divided thus: R412,500 for first, R132,000 for second, R66,000 for third, R33,000 for fourth, R16,500 for fifth, and R10,000 will earned by the 6th to 15th positions, provided 28 runners are declared.
The weights will be based on three tiers, Tier 1 will be 57kg and above, tier 2 will be 53kg to 56,5kg and tier 3 will be 50kg to 52,5kg. There will be no gender or apprentice allowances. The determination of the final field will be at the sole discretion of the operator.
All entries will automatically be entered in the R250,000 Heritage Consolation Handicap race over the same course and distance and there will be a maximum of 28 runners in this event too.
Declaration fees shall be refunded for horses eliminated from the Grand Heritage when the final field is announced, but will be subject to paying the declaration fee for the consolation should they choose to run.
There are two R150,000 handicap races over 1200m where there will also be a maximum of 28 runners. The benchmarks for the three handicaps are to be determined by the handicappers. The fields in all four legs make for a Grand Jackpot and will hopefully include maximum fields sizes of up to 28 runners and two reserves.
Entries for the Grand Heritage close at 11h00 on Monday August 8, although there is also a supplementary stage which closes at 11h00 on Monday September 19. The final field will be announced on Wednesday 21 September at an Event to be announced.
Phumelela’s Racing, Hospitality and Events Executive Clyde Basel said, “After the sand racing program had ended we held a workshop with our stakeholders and they have given the thumbs up for the Grand Heritage race meeting to go ahead. It will provide the opportunity for ordinary horses to compete with the best horses on fair terms for good prize money. The four 28 field races will hopefully provide for a Grand Jackpot and our betting division will be innovative in catering for this bet, which should attract huge interest.”
He added: “The meeting will also be marketed as another family fun day out just as the meeting it replaces, the Emerald Cup, was in the past. It will be a stand-alone meeting as the Jackpot races will hopefully each require 28 jockeys, who will be flying in from all corners of the country.”