Sat | Jul 4, 2020

Big things coming for racing – Peart - SVL promises exciting changes when Caymanas Park reopens

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2020 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Gary Peart (left), executive chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), and Lorna Gooden (right), general manager of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), handing out food items to Laurel Morgan (centre) and other residents of Gregory Park yesterday. SVL and SVREL delivered 300 care packages to residents in the communities, in collaboration with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
Horses leaving the starting gate at Caymanas Park.
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In a bid to improve the racing product, executive chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Gary Peart, says a lot of new and exciting products are set to come on stream as soon as horse racing resumes at Caymanas Park.

SVL is the parent body of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the local promoters of horse racing. Racing was suspended indefinitely on March 21, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease in Jamaica.

Peart, who gave no details about his company's plans, told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday that during the suspension, the SVREL board has been working around the clock to find ways to improve the racing product.

"We have some exciting things to come and so in this downtime, we have been actually working," said Peart.

"We are on the verge of making a big announcement because what we want to do is, whenever racing returns, we want to hit the ground running, and so there are going to be some new and different initiatives," he added.

"There are going to be additional options for the bettors and punters, and it is all a part of the master plan that has been championed by Chairman Solomon Sharpe that we are working towards," Peart shared.

INCREASE IN REVENUE

He underlined that since his company's acquisition of Caymanas Park in 2017, the operation has seen an increase in revenue in each year.

"One of the things people should look at is that when you look at the numbers for 2019 relative to 2018, the revenue has increased to almost $900 million, and so that tells me that the plan is working, and as we fill in the other aspects of the plan, we will get to a point where I think everybody is going to be very happy," Peart pointed out.

He noted that SVREL is well prepared for the resumption of racing once all the protocols have been agreed on.

"An MOU was signed with all the stakeholders, and under that MOU, the responsibility to get that new protocol from the Ministry of Health lies with the BGLC (Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission) and JRC (Jamaica Racing Commission), and so it is an in-depth process," Peart said. "SVREL is ready, the track is fine and all the original protocols are already in place."

"Our people are trained on that, and so whatever new protocols come in, it won't be difficult to adjust to it," he stated.

Meanwhile, SVL, in collaboration with SVREL and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, yesterday handed out over 300 care packages, consisting of basic food items, to residents of Gregory Park and Independence City.

"SVL and SVREL have been doing a lot of work at the track, keeping that ecosystem going, and one of the things is that while we don't have racing, and racing impacts the stakeholders at the track, you also have an ecosystem that surrounds that track, where once there is racing, they also benefit from it," said Peart.

Uriah Longmore, 86, a resident of Gregory Park and a beneficiary of the outreach exercise, said he was extremely grateful for the handout.

"I feel great for this because me and my family will enjoy this a lot," said Longmore. "I know that my grandchildren and children and daughters-in-law will get from this because I can cook, and I will be cooking up a storm from this bag."

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com