Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Ontime start at Caymanas, please

Published:Friday | August 3, 2018 | 12:00 AM


It's been close to 18 months since SVEL has taken over the running of horse racing at Caymanas Park. While this period has been short, there was so much lacking that anxiety and frustration are understandable.

Some things have been achieved, paramount among these being the payment of purses in days rather than the close to three week waiting period which obtained prior.

Still, there are many grumblings from stakeholders with word going the rounds that a major owner has just about had it and could be close to walking away.

While I do not profess to have all the answers, I would like to speak on one area - that of starting races on time.

There is talk about simulcasting local races to the Diaspora in the United States, Canada.

This at best is a pipe dream and the joke of the century at worse.

On an average race day (10 races) one is hard pressed to find even three races going off at the advertised start time.

With lateness running between three to five minutes how will this square in these areas which operate to the second? The rest of the world will not conform to Jamaica time. Even from a local perspective it must be difficult for radio and television programming. It matters not the size of the field, six or the maximum 16 runners no attempt is made to load the horses in a timely manner to ensure on time starts.

While most things are likely to entail financial input of varying sizes surely, getting the starting gate attendants to move apace can't be beyond SVEL's budget.

Time is money.

Hopeful Punter