PHUMELELA MEDIA RELEASE
SUBJECT: Flamingo Park to close in December
DATE: Thursday 29 August 2019
RELEASED BY: Phumelela Gaming
Flamingo Park Racecourse will stage its last meeting on Monday 9 December.
“The decision is based purely on commercial factors,” explained Phumelela Racing Executive Patrick Davis on Thursday.
“A financial analysis conducted on Kimberley Racing in isolation from the other racecourses, indicated it was losing around R23.5 million a year. It has the lowest TAB turnover of any of local race meeting at around R3 million.
“It is also one of the least cost-effective meetings to stage as we have to bring in people like stipes, judges etc from other centres.
“The last race meeting will take place on Monday 9 December after which Flamingo Park will close as both a training facility and a racecourse.”
Davis and Racing Association CEO Larry Wainstein went to Kimberley to discuss the move with the Kimberley trainers and their staff, also assuring them they would not be left in the lurch.
“Phumelela will support the trainers and all their grooms to relocate to another venue. Over the next month or so we will be in discussions as to where they wish to move. The options are the Vaal, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town,” said Davis.
“The general consensus is that they will go in different directions.”
As a result of the closure, the 2020 fixture list has been rejuggled to accommodate 20 of those 36 meetings. The plan is they will be held at either the Vaal or Port Elizabeth and will be programmed with Kimberley-level stakes and race programmes.
“We will also include some kind of protection clause for former Kimberley-based trainers at those extra meetings,” said Davis.
It’s quite sad for the people of Kimberly, even though it did cost money getting people up there etc, I still think more could have been done for turnovers.When a pick 6 was a carryover it should have gone to the next weeks meeting ,the full carryover.Kimberly lost out on things like that which would make a big difference.
I am not sure its a question who had the news first.
Its another sad situation for racing and I hope that as many people and jobs can be relocated as possible during these difficult financial times racing finds itself in.
so few thoughts here
1. i was under the impression P has to present local content 7 days week to their international viewers or risk losing their access to the international market. if that is the case, are they planning to add Monday meetings to other venues.? if yes then we are truly Fcuked,. The track conditions are already a train wreck and now they gonna close a track but keep the number of race meetings. Would like clarity on that please.
2. What role did Larry Wineberg of the RA actually play in assisting the Owners interests here? Again probably FCUK ALL. Disband the RA ASAP
3. Any pie in the sky Dreamer who thinks the Kimberly trainers will have a chance at the bigger centers is nuts. Those horses are in Kimberley for the reason. The trainers no doubt can hold their own against the best but they dont have the quality stock. Moving them to the other centers will just cut those smaller trainers throats, in what is not a growing market of young fresh owners.
In 3 months time there will need to be homes for a few hundred horses.
I feel for the owners at present who have good sand horses.The owners who recently bought more horses to support Kimberly have just lost their money.Most trainers won’t relocate as the horses won’t make it in any other center.Can imagine the amount of jobs to be lost.
3 months notice is not fair,there should be 1 year so people can restructure.Maybe they should have announced it months ago when they knew.
It’s a sad state as it’s not just about closing a course ...it is closing down racing in a province of the country.I wonder how many of them will stop betting on other centers.
My heart cries for all concerned with this from grooms to horses. Even those good sand horses .. 3 months to go then bye bye. Was it preventable? Who’s next on the chopping block? Any executives taking responsibility for this?
So why can't some of our big boys invest in a new tote system for Kimberly or invest in staff .. surely there must be enough staff to work in Kimberly from old chair wood, Milnerton,goshfortpark,..?
why don't gold circle take over the running of the racecourse? surely the government can look at a bailout.. especially big job losses? if Eskom & SAA can get bailouts? let's have a business rescue for Kimberly too.
Just a few thoughts from my point of view, as an accountant. Phumelela say they made a R23,5million loss each year on Flamingo Park, this does not seem right to me. A heard a whisper, that at the meeting the trainers were told they were closing Flamingo, there were no annual financial statements given to them to prove this. Phumelela Gaming Leasure Ltd is a listed entity on the JSE, surely they must show the annual financial statements to prove this figure. If they can not prove it, then in my opinion Flamingo was run the same as any state-owned entity, and we all know what the state-owned entities are good at.....
There is a snake in the grass somewhere, something just does not click to me...
Another sad day as many people will be unemployed.Feel sorry for ZIETS who loved tipping and using this centre as he won many races on this track.Obviously a big dent for all concerned and the next question to the big boys, where to from here for all the guys trying to make a living after they pulled the plug.
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