The National Horseracing Authority has not received any feedback from Government to date on the status of the above submission.On reading the legislated Lockdown regulations that become effective on 1 May, under Table 1 Alert Level 4, “the transport of live animals”, clarity is being sought and it is our understanding that the movement of non-producing livestock, needs further amplification.

On 22 April 2020 The National Horseracing Authority sent a comprehensive submission to the President of the Republic of South Africa, the National Coronavirus Command Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.This application set out reasons and motivations as to why the horseracing industry should be allowed to stage behind closed doors race meetings under Lockdown, based on the following principles that horseracing:

Following Government’s announcement to extend the COVID-19 Lockdown to the end of April, there have been numerous meetings of the Racing Operators, the Racing Association and The National Horseracing Authority over the Easter weekend.  The following update is hereby provided :

Targeted Resumption of Racing

On the assumption that the extended national Lockdown is lifted AND that racing is permitted to resume with adequate betting revenues flowing to the Racing Operators, the plan is to recommence racing on Friday, 1 May. To this end, The National Horseracing Authority is in the process of making a coordinated representation to Government on behalf of the South African Horseracing Industry to enable such resumption after Lockdown is lifted, under whatever Government restrictions are implemented.

Given that we will have effectively lost 5 weeks of racing, the Racing Operators have agreed to push the National Feature Race Programme back around a month, which will mean that the Vodacom Durban July will take place on the last Saturday in July (with the Gold Cup meeting pushed out to the end of August). This will allow the Highveld to move a slightly revamped Champions Day (featuring the Champions Challenge and six other major races) to the last Saturday in May and stage the Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr 1), SA Derby (Gr 1) and SA Oaks (Gr 2) on Saturday 2 May.

In terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of The National Horseracing Authority the Nominations Committee, consisting of past chairmen Adv. Altus Joubert, Mr Andrew O’Connor, Mr Larry Nestadt and Mr Jonathan Witts-Hewinson has appointed Mr Nithia Nalliah to fill the vacancy on the National Board as an  independent person in terms of clause 15.1.2 of the Constitution.Mr Nalliah is the final of the three independents in terms of clause 15.1.2, the other two being Adv S M Lebala SC and Adv R Bhana SC.

  • Kings Cup (Handicap) (Listed) 

BORN TO PERFORM has had his rating raised from 96 to 98 after he ran out a hard fought winner of the Listed King’s Cup (Handicap) over 1600m on the Greyville turf course on Sunday 22 March 2020.  The Handicappers agreed that runner-up TRISTFUL and third placed G G’s DYNASTY were the correct line horses to use and as such, both remain unchanged on 109 and 103, respectively.

The winner aside, there were no other increases to the ratings of any of the runners, but a number were given a drop.  CAPOEIRA is down from 112 to 110, CAMPHORATUS drops from 114 to 111, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR goes from 97 to 96, MASTER MAGIC is down to 98 from 100, and lastly AMOR ARDIENTE drops from 97 to 95.

The NHA, Phumelela, Gold Circle, Kenilworth Racing, the Racing Association and The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust, as a further preventative measure, discourages all air travel of industry participants entering racecourses and training establishments countrywide, subject to the 14 day isolation period being complied with.  This is effective from Monday 23 March 2020. 

We appeal to all persons involved in the racing industry, to act responsibly and with integrity as your conduct and commitment is paramount to the continuation of racing fixtures. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but the established high-risk element of airports and the severity of the CoronaVirus (COVID–19) necessitates such drastic measures.


In line with other racing jurisdictions and in the best interest of Jockeys and horseracing, The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa has raised the minimum riding weight in races to 54 kgs.  The change is to accommodate the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will be implemented for final acceptances from Monday, 23 March 2020 and until further notice.

Should the minimum weights in any race at the close of final acceptance be less than 54 kgs it shall be raised to 54 kgs and all other weights will be raised accordingly. In certain unique cases (conditions and plated races) there may be a deviation in the best interest of the race and the majority of the field.

  • Senor Santa Stakes (Grade 2)


MIGHTY HIGH’s rating remains unchanged on 108 after she captured the Grade 2 Senor Santa Stakes over 1160m on the Turffontein straight course on Saturday 14 March.  The Handicappers were of the view that fourth placed WARRIOR’S REST and fifth finisher ROMI’S BOY were the most suitable line horses to use in assessing this race and as such they remain unchanged on 113 and 105, respectively.  In rating the race this way, MIGHTY HIGH which was rated to win at these weight terms remains unchanged on 108. 

Runner-up MR FLOOD also remains unaltered on 120 and in fact only one change was made to any rating in the entire field, with RIVARINE dropping slightly from 109 to 108. 


  • S A Classic (Grade 1)


GOT THE GREENLIGHT has seen his rating raised from 114 to 116 after he bounced right back to form and won the Grade 1  S A Classic for three-year-olds over 1800m at Turffontein (standside track) on Saturday 7 March.  The Handicappers felt that fourth placed LEOPOLD would not have run worse here than when he finished fifth in the Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas at his most recent start and used him to what he actually achieved there to rate the Classic.   

At the time the Handicappers took a lenient view of his Guineas performance, but his run in the Classic confirms that he is indeed as good as his actual achieved Guineas rating made him appear. As such, LEOPOLD’s rating now goes up from 108 to 111. 

Classic runner-up GREEN LASER and 3rd placed YOUCANTHURRYLOVE both go up to 114, from 109 and 108 respectively. MASTER SUPREME is up from 85 to 100, while in the only other increase WESTERN FORT goes from 91 to 95. 

The only drop was for last placed BATTLE OF ALESIA, who goes from 106 to 101.


  • Kenilworth Cup (Handicap) (Listed)


MERCURANA has seen his rating adjusted from 77 to 97 after his success in the Listed Kenilworth Cup (Handicap) over 3 200m on the Kenilworth summer course on Saturday 29 February.  It must be borne in mind that MERCURANA was fully 18 pounds under sufferance as the race was benchmarked 93 MR = 52kg, and together with the minimum 2-pound increase which is mandatory for any win in a handicap, this equals the 20 point increase he received.  That is to say, were the race to be run again MERCURANA would have to carry 53 kgs, or 1 kg (2 pounds) more than the 52 kgs he carried here. 

The Handicappers took the view that third placed STRATHDON made for the best line horse and as such he remains unchanged on 109, however runner-up SWIFT SURPRISE (who was also under sufferance) was raised from 91 to 95.  Fourth placed TROOP THE COLOUR was raised from 67 to 80.  He in fact ran to 92 on literal numbers, but the handicappers were of the view that he was flattered by his margin of defeat in a race which was slowly run and as such he only received half of the achieved adjustment. 

The only drop was for DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM, who goes from 108 to 106.