Racing operator Phumelela has been given the green light to install floodlights at Turffontein and it is hoped that the first night meeting can be held at the Johannesburg track as early as October. Phumelela CEO Jim Tennant welcomed this as “ great news all round ” for the horseracing industry.
“ Night racing at Turffontein means more races, more prize money and many exciting marketing opportunities, ” said Tennant. “ Installation of the lights will begin as soon as possible. Construction should begin in the next six to eight weeks and it might be possible to have night racing by October. Obviously this will depend on the availability of the various contractors .”
Larry Wainstein, chairman of the Racing Association which represents racehorse owners in Phumelela regions, also reacted enthusiastically to the news that night racing at Turffontein is back on track.
“ It’s fantastic news for racing, ” he said. “ Nearly 20 race meetings have been lost as a result of the delay in introducing night racing at Turffontein, which has cost the industry tens of millions of rand. Night racing has always been popular with racegoers and the investment Phumelela has made in improving facilities at Turffontein will enhance the entire experience of racing under lights. ”
Phumelela had hoped to launch night racing at Turffontein last October, but the installation of lights had to be put on ice following an environmental appeal, which has now been dismissed.
Extract from European Bloodstock News