Stakes Increase for the Cape Summer Season

“…The priority for the Cape Summer Season is to attract the highest quality horses for features and larger fields to produce the most competitive races..”

With the exciting Cape Feature racing season underway, Kenilworth Racing is proud to announce the restructuring of stakes levels for both the feature race schedule as well as the all-important regular race programme that sustains horseracing week in and week out

Owners and stakeholders have paid the sport the highest compliment via their unflagging support of local racing during exceptionally challenging circumstances – support of which Kenilworth Racing is extremely grateful. The faith placed in Kenilworth Racing is enabling significant changes to be put into effect over the next few months. 

Racing in South Africa was heavily impacted by the national lockdown which led to the temporary shutdown of local operations, this resulted in the exhaustion of the betting income which funds the stakes pot. The impact to the racing value chain of breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, operators and all others earning an income from racing was significant.

The Racing Association supported the top-up of stakes by 20% however this relief expires at the end of November 2020 so a longer-term solution needed to be found. 

“Stimulating the racing economy in the Western Cape requires a considerable increase in the stakes on offer to encourage sufficient levels of support to allow betting turnover to recover and profitability to return to pre-COVID levels. The priority for the Cape Summer Season is to attract the highest quality horses for features and larger fields to produce the most competitive races, creating more interest for racegoers and more opportunities for punters”, said Kenilworth Racing Chairman, Bradley Ralph. 

A carefully balanced proposal was formulated to ensure feature races are attractive enough to entice visiting trainers to make the trip to the Cape, whilst also helping local owners pay the monthly keep and getting their horses out of the Maidens for a quick return. 

A local stakes committee with representation from the Racing Association, Kenilworth Racing and independent racing stakeholders was tasked with exploring a more economical way of distributing the stakes increase in the Cape with “in-season” and “out-of-season” levels.

The following principles were considered:

  1. Stakes increase for the 3-month Cape Summer Season
    • December, January and February
  1. The current horse population mix in the Cape
    • Fillies and Mares vs Colts and Geldings
    • Maidens (including Juveniles) and Maiden handicaps for weaker Maidens
    • Balancing “in-season” with “out-of-season” stakes allocations
    • Lower mid-week stakes vs higher weekend stakes
  1. Increasing field sizes to generate higher betting turnover
  2. Focus on Maidens and Maiden Juvenile races to give owners greater opportunity for quicker returns on their investment
  3. Relooking the number of races and race meetings for 2021
    • Aligning to the programming process
  1. Consultation with the Racing Association 

<b>Feature Races</b>

The budgeted stakes are based on the current COVID-19 levels as agreed to by the stakes committee. However, Kenilworth Racing has agreed to implement stakes increases across the board.

The Proposed Feature Race Stakes levels and increases are broken down as follows:

Stakes for all minor races will also be substantially increased, with some noticeable examples below:
Open Divided (MR98) R90 000 (currently R46 000) – 96% increase
Open Conditions and Plated race R75 000 (currently R46 000) – 63% increase
Open Maiden Juvenile Plate R95 000 (currently R46 000) – 106% increase
Open Maiden Plate R80 000 (currently R46 000) – 73% increase
Discussions with all feature race sponsors are ongoing and these stakes may change should further sponsorships be secured.
Kenilworth Racing is planning many exciting sponsorship opportunities and new initiatives for 2021. If you would like to participate or partner with Kenilworth Racing please contact the new Head of Events and Sponsorships – Donovan Everitt at