Jun 15, 2020

Horse racing in Japan barely hit by COVID19.

Racing in Japan has continued uninterrupted although behind closed doors, still showing off some of the best bloodstock in the world.

Takamatsunomiya-kinen Group 1 behind closed doors

Takamatsunomiya-kinen Group 1
behind closed doors

JRA’s revenue for the period 29 February – 17 May was Y 650,000,000,000 – about 100 billion rand – only about 9% down on the same period in 2019. Much of this comes from betting, 70% of which is done online as a rule.

Tens of thousands of people throng the race courses usually, with many horses having large fan clubs and generating a roaring trade in cuddly toy replicas. Partly because they are shut out for now, and partly because there is no other live sport to watch, Japanese racing’s TV audience has boomed. Already popular way beyond the betting population, as witnessed by the huge groups flying to Europe when  Japanese runner challenges for a big one, Japanese horseracing has grabbed a gift of an opportunity to expand its TV audience by multiples.

To see the cuddly toys and the how and why here is David’s November 2017 Turf Talk article “So how did the Japanese do it

Royal Ascot started yesterday

We hope that you will be able to enjoy the ITV coverage that so impressed many South African viewers last year. The same team will be in action but in the interesting atmosphere of behind closed doors.

Hollie Doyle on Hintlesham Racings Ice Lord beats Josephine Gordon on Gulliver up the Ascot hill

Hollie Doyle on Hintlesham Racing’s Ice Lord
beats Josephine Gordon on Gulliver
up the Ascot hill

If you have a VPN or can get one for watching overseas TV as if you are in this or that country, you may still have some access issues with BBC and ITV live material. But as far as I know, a VPN can access BBC iPlayer and ITVHub which carry much of the output on demand. All the ITV Racing coverage is on the ITV Hub.

Google to be sure, don’t rely on this, but I know a few Brits living in SA who are gearing up with a VPN for the Royal Meeting.

Amongst the 300,000 people who would usually fill the racecourse Tuesday-Saturday, a great many are dressing for Ascot at home, quaffing the fizzy stuff in their glad rags with lobster or cream teas and the like on hand to consume.

We have one entry at the Meeting in the Wokingham on Saturday. Our Hintlesham Racing UK standard bearer Ice Lord with a best RPR 100, is a multiple winner and multiple placed at Ascot, Newmarket, Doncaster, Salisbury and Windsor.

After a back issue deriving from a foot issue that took time to fix (100%) last year, he slipped to an official handicap rating of 87 and ran an excellent 3rd at Newmarket the other day. But 87 may not be enough to get him into the Wokingham or reserves race. We’ll see!  Either way we look forward to another great season with him and his younger stablemates.

The SA Mare market

Elusive Fort

Elusive Fort

Who knows? But the Cape Breeders Club survey indicates that 396 Cape-based mares fewer than in 2019 will go to stallions in 2020. If so, that’s a big percentage.

We are agog to see what stallion masters and mistresses will announce – soon. Our inky black stallion ELUSIVE FORT sired his third Grade 1 winner the other day in a burst of 6 winners in 5 days but rest assured we shall be dropping his fee anyway in these testing times.

A young Captain Al mare - welcome to the team

A young Captain Al mare

– welcome to the team

I shan’t rehash the foal figures yet again, but well done to those who bought (and offered) mares on the enterprising BSA on-line auction last week. We had a dabble and some Australian breeders took note of one or two of the pedigrees on-line.

The best of luck to all concerned with the on-line Klawervlei Farm Sale soon. More enterprise worthy of reward.