On 15 January 2019,  after the running of the 6th race at the Vaal Racecourse the Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Lyle Anderson, was approached by Trainer Mr Scott Kenny who queried the eligibility of the winner, SUGOI. 

Mr Kenny pointed out that in terms of Local conditions pertaining to assessment races on the Highveld, he was of the opinion that SUGOI has not met its obligation of participating in two assessment plates before being allowed to run in a handicap on the Highveld and as such should not have been allowed to run in race 6 on 15 January 2019.  Mr Kenny was advised that the NHA Handicapping Panel included SUGOI in the race as the Handicappers were satisfied that SUGOI had already competed in two assessment races since winning its maiden.  

The Handicappers used both the MR 72 Handicap that SUGOI competed  at Greyville Racecourse on 12 December 2018, as well as the assessment plate on 29 November 2018 and therefore deemed that SUGOI  has had its two obligatory runs in assessment races, being of the view that any race (excluding the Highveld) in which a horse is eligible to run, will be used as an assessment run.  Thus, SUGOI’s run in a Kwazulu-Natal Handicap was deemed to have satisfied the assessment plate conditions.  

The National Horseracing Authority’s application is summarised as follows: 

Should a winner of a maiden race within its first five starts compete in any race for which it is eligible in another province, that race will count as one of the said horse’s mandatory assessment runs

On 9 July 2018 the NHA issued a Press Release relating to the theft of sealed post-race specimen boxes containing specimens which were collected at the Vodacom Durban July 2018 race day at Greyville Racecourse. These boxes were taken from the courier company at gunpoint by unknown assailants.  Some of these specimen boxes were later noticed by a member of the public where these were abandoned in a nature reserve in Durban. 

The police subsequently took three of the boxes into evidence. The boxes that were found had all of the 20 specimens intact. Some were Original specimens and some were Reference specimens. Original specimens are routinely analysed at the NHA Laboratory. The corresponding, identical Reference specimens are normally kept intact as a mechanism for independent analysis at an alternative racing laboratory. These boxes were subsequently released by the police to the NHA and they were then forwarded to the NHA Laboratory. Whilst all the boxes were physically forced open, all of the contained specimens were still intact. All of the bottles and the bottle seals were also intact.  This was a significant observation as it showed that none of the specimens were tampered with at any stage.   It was therefore still possible to analyse these intact specimens. 

Although these urine specimens were not ideally stored whilst the police investigation was ongoing, the NHA Laboratory however still followed normal practice and screened the specimens for the presence of any prohibited substances. The deterioration of these specimens was not ideal as they were compromised by the abovementioned incident.  However, employing the highly sensitive screening instrumentation of the NHA Laboratory, no prohibited substances were in fact detected in these specimens. 

Further preventative measures have been instituted with immediate effect in order to ensure that similar incidences do not occur in the future.  

This matter has now been finalised and the file has been closed.

L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (WFA) Grade 1 – Race 7 

Following a comprehensive discussion between the NHA Handicapping panel consisting of Messrs Lennon Maharaj, Matthew Lips and Vee Moodley, DO IT AGAIN has seen his Merit Rating increased from 120 to 125, in the wake of his victory in an exceptional renewal of the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth on Saturday.  The 2018 Vodacom Durban July winner showed both his versatility and his class when collaring sole three-year-old SOQRAT in the shadows of the post to land what was widely billed as one of the highest average MR Group 1 and the Handicappers are perfectly satisfied that the four-year-old is worthy of his new status as the highest rated horse in South Africa. 

The Handicappers assessed the Queen’s Plate on the basis that LEGAL EAGLE and UNDERCOVER AGENT confirmed exactly their form out of the Green Point Stakes, and that UNDERCOVER AGENT and SNOWDANCE almost exactly replicated their form out of the Rising Sun Gold Challenge which was run at Greyville last June. 

There is every reason to believe that DO IT AGAIN could have improved five pounds on what he showed when beaten a short head by LEGAL EAGLE in the four-way photo finish to the Green Point Stakes.  DO IT AGAIN was making his seasonal debut on that occasion, having not raced since winning the Vodacom Durban July, whereas all three of those around him had run (and won) at least once in the current season. There seems no doubt that DO IT AGAIN stepped up on his Green Point Stakes performance to win the Queen’s Plate against arguably the best field of milers assembled for a race in South Africa in many years.

 As a result of the Queen’s Plate, SOQRAT’s rating has been increased to 124.  The Cape Guineas winner came into the Queen’s Plate previously unbeaten from two starts over 1600m – both of them at Grade 1 level. The runner-up out of the Cape Guineas, TWIST OF FATE, easily won the Grade 3 BMW Politician Stakes on Queen’s Plate day to also underline the strength of the Guineas form.  SOQRAT is a progressive three-year-old who looks full value for his 124 rating after only losing the Queen’s Plate in the dying strides. 

RAINBOW BRIDGE also appears to have stepped up considerably on his Green Point Stakes run and his rating has been increased to 119.  In the Queen’s Plate he met DO IT AGAIN, LEGAL EAGLE and UNDERCOVER AGENT on 2 kgs worse terms than in the Green Point, yet was able to reverse form with two of them easily.  There is every reason to believe that RAINBOW BRIDGE performed better in the Queen’s Plate than in the Green Point, where he ran to 116 despite appearing unsuited to the slow early pace and generally not having a great deal go his way.  A mark of 119 for him looks perfectly reasonable and confirms his place as a progressive and highly capable emerging force on the scene. 

Other changes following from the Queen’s Plate are LEGAL EAGLE dropping from 123 to 121, HAT PUNTANO drops from 112 to 109, and INFAMOUS FOX’S rating has been cut from 103 to 101.  These drops are more indicative of the two horses’ deteriorating form in recent starts and are not directly linked to their performances in the Queen’s Plate, where HAT PUNTANO was the subject of a veterinary check after his Jockey reported that he felt something amiss with the Argentine-bred import. 

Cartier Paddock Stakes (WFA) (Grade 1) – Race 6 

There were fewer significant rating changes following the day’s other Grade 1 race, the Cartier Paddock Stakes for fillies and mares over 1800m.  The Handicappers feel confident that the highly consistent 3rd placed CASCAPEDIA is the correct line horse for the race and accordingly have rated the race to a level of 118.  However, the winner OH SUSANNA’S rating remains unchanged on 121.  Runner-up LADY IN BLACK’S rating has been upped from 108 to 117, while 4th placed FRESNAYE goes up from 104 to 110 and 5th placed SECOND REQUEST has seen her rating raised from 101 to 104.  SECRET REQUEST ran to a rating of 108 and was effectively given a half way increase. 

The rating of the runners that were reduced were HASHTAGYOLO (from 104 to 101) and ELUSIVE HEART, who drops to 100 from 103. The balance of the field remains unchanged.



The National Horseracing Authority




The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA) confirms that former Executive Director : Sports Betting  (Phumelela Gaming & Leisure), Vee Moodley, is raring to go in his new role as Chief Executive of the NHA, the body entrusted with controlling the sport of horseracing in South Africa. 

Moodley resigned from his position at Phumelela last month to take up his new post and is returning to familiar territory. He takes up office today on 2 January 2019. 

He was Racing Control Executive and Chief Executive designate of the NHA back in 2010, when he resigned to lead the Groups Betting Division at PGL. 

“That was an opportunity I could not afford to miss at that stage of my career and my time at Phumelela has been absolutely invaluable in broadening my knowledge of horseracing.  But I am pleased to be back at the NHA.  Having a singular focus, high on attention to detail and a vision to accomplish, I am raring to go.  The organisation is facing many challenges that I fully comprehend and shall relish dealing with”, Moodley said. 

One of Moodley’s immediate goals in his new role is to introduce a high-performance culture and ensure the NHA lives up to its mission statement of maintaining the integrity of the sport of horseracing. 

“I will be ably supported by the NHA National Board under the chairmanship of Ken Truter and the existing executive and management teams. Strengthening those teams is high on my agenda, as is ensuring that the transformation goals of the organisation are accomplished within a reasonable timeframe,” he said. 

There are numerous other issues that Moodley is keen to tackle. 

“We need to give maximum attention to the proposed Amendment Gambling Bill. The recommendations contained therein have positive implications for the NHA and we need to fast track putting in place the independence that is critical for this organisation to properly carry out its role.” 

A clear and effective communications strategy is also on the priority list, as is resolving any outstanding issues. 

“There’s much to be done, but I am looking forward to every aspect of the job, including working together with the different role players/stakeholders to ensure that the sport of horseracing is the winner at the end of the day.  Everybody in the industry will be treated equally and fairly and there will be no discrimination. Horseracing’s integrity is paramount to its future”, he said. 

“I am also very aware, that my energies need to be directed at the critical important items whilst NOT neglecting the important issues, many that are on the table as we speak”, he added. 

With a spirit of co-operation, consistency and transparency as the key factors, Moodley is confident of a positive outlook for the NHA. 

For any queries/suggestions/comments, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Vee Moodley

Chief Executive

The National Horseracing Authority


The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Vee Moodley as the new Chief Executive, effective 1st January, 2019. 

Mr Moodley has a stellar career in the horseracing industry, building a wealth of experience and deep knowledge in almost every aspect of the Sport over the past 15 years. 

After working as a group accountant, Mr Moodley opted for a career change and began as a Handicapper with the NHA in 2003.  He was then promoted to Racing Control Manager in 2007 and by the end of 2008 he was identified as the Chief Executive designate of the NHA with full working knowledge of the regulatory body, its rules and all of its functions. 

In 2010, he was then headhunted to join Phumelela Gaming and Leisure where he became the Executive Director for Sports Betting, and later became Chief Executive of Betting World as well as a member of the main board of Phumelela.  He also served on the boards of Kenilworth Racing, Betting World East Cape, Supabets, Superworld and the South African Jockeys Academy.   

He currently is a member of the National Racing Committee, National Fixtures Committee, the Handicapping Appeal Committee and the Race Programme Committee. 

A man with an unbridled and passionate commitment to thoroughbred horseracing.  In order to avoid of any conflict of interest, Mr Moodley accepts the post of Chief Executive of the NHA on the grounds that he will no longer hold any directorships nor shares or share options in any part of Phumelela or its betting operations and that his sole and complete focus will be to steer the course of the regulatory body in all its aspects. 

In welcoming Mr Moodley, the Board of the NHA believes that his vast experience will enable him to provide a visionary leadership role with strong financial and strategic skills that will enhance the future, the integrity and the transformation of the Sport of Horseracing as well as the core functions of The National Horseracing Authority.

The National Board of the NHA advises that until the process of appointing a permanent Chief Executive has been completed, Mr Arnold Hyde will assume the responsibilities of Chief Executive.

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that a Board meeting was held earlier today to discuss the vacant position of Chief Executive.         The National Board Directors agreed that the position would be advertised.

NHA Staff Promotions 

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce the following promotions: 

-           Dr Roehann Sutherland will be promoted to NHA Senior Veterinary Surgeon with effect from 1 November 2018. 

-           Mr Lennon Maharaj has been promoted to the position of Senior Handicapper with effect from 1 September 2018. 

The NHA wishes both Roehann and Lennon every success in their new positions.