THE South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is joining forces with horseracing and tote betting operator Phumelela to present Africa’s richest series of races, the SASCOC Triple Crown for three-year-olds.
SASCOC will also showcase its sporting champions on Champions Day, which is Africa’s richest raceday and incorporates the last leg of the Triple Crown.
Phumelela Sales Executive Clyde Basel said there were natural synergies between horseracing and athletics. “The partnership between Phumelela and SASCOC will deliver important benefits for both sports.’’
SASCOC President Gideon Sam said he was delighted that sport and the sport of horseracing were teaming up.
“Our association with the Triple Crown and Champions Day will enhance SASCOC’s visibility and enable us to market and promote our business, which includes high-performance sport and the development of Team South Africa,’’ said Sam.
“It also provides an ideal opportunity for other companies to participate in these two great events and by so doing to financially assist SASCOC’s Bursary Scheme. This in turn will enable SASCOC to offer uninterrupted preparation to our athletes as they prepare for London 2012.’’
Julian Bryant said Primedia Sport, which last year entered into an agreement with Phumelela to jointly market and promote the sport of thoroughbred horseracing, was delighted to be associated with Phumelela and SASCOC in staging the SASCOC Triple Crown.
“It is set to greatly assist with the development of sport in South Africa and also the SA Olympic team in their quest for 12 medals in 2012,’’ Bryant said.
The Triple Crown is billed as horseracing’s ultimate test and with good cause. The series comprises three top-level races in just eight weeks – the R1-million Gauteng Guineas over 1600m, the R2-million SA Classic over 1800m and the R1.5-million SA Derby over 2450m. All three races are run at Turffontein, Phumelela’s flagship racing venue.
There’s a R2-million bonus awaiting the horse who succeeds in winning all three legs, but it takes an exceptional horse to accomplish that feat, one who combines a rare blend of speed, stamina, courage and determination. In short a true champion!
The mighty Horse Chestnut, who many rank the best horse in South African racing history, is the only horse to have succeeded in winning the Triple Crown since its inception. He won the inaugural event in 1999.