Summer Cup will be unique

Summer Cup will be unique


Jack Milner: The Gauteng Summer Cup will remain the “People’s Race” and will bring a visit to Turffontein Racecourse into the 21st century.

The Gauteng Summer Cup has taken up the mantle of being “the People’s Race”, and when the race is run on 30 November over 2000m at Turffontein the organisers want to ensure that designation becomes entrenched in the profile of this memorable event, a horserace almost as old as Johannesburg itself.

This year’s race was launched at a function staged in Bryanston on Wednesday and Rob Scott, Phumelela Executive, Sports betting, said: “We will create an exciting event where the people of Joburg can come together and enjoy the day.

“There will be something for everyone at the Gauteng Summer Cup.”

And the way to achieve this is to bring horseracing into the 21st century.

Scott remarked that they can’t keep trying to copy the Vodacom Durban July and the Sun Met, the two other major races in the country.

So, they have created a three-pronged plan that will make this year’s Gauteng Summer Cup unique. The first is to use the event to give something back to the community; the second is to showcase the thrill racing can provide so that hopefully some people will start to follow the sport and want to come to more of these events; and the third is to create an ambiance not found at either the Durban July or the Sun Met.

“There will be a theme park for kids, so kids are welcome to attend the event, we have a thing called a silent disco, which worked so well last year,” said Scott. “We found horses and noise do not go well together so instead of turning the music up and down, you can go into that section, you can put on your earphones and you can just dance the whole day.

“And then, of course, there is all the social media stuff going on and there is the social-pioneers area, so there really is something for everyone at this year’s Gauteng Summer Cup.”

As there were a number of non-punting people at the function, they were taken through a pre-recorded race in which they were given a lesson in how to bet.

There will also be a carnival carrying on throughout the day and a superb headline act for the show was announced – Freshlyground.

One of the most acclaimed and successful bands to emerge from South Africa in recent years, Freshlyground blends the ikwela style and musical traditions from Zimbabwe and Mozambique with elements of pop, jazz, blues and indie rock.

Formed in Cape Town the band became a national hit with the release of their 2003 debut, Jika Jika, and a year later they found themselves performing for former president Thabo Mbeki and sharing the stage with the legendary Miriam Makeba at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Freshlyground have toured the world and recorded seven albums, including a collaboration with pop superstar Shakira that was chosen as the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They performed the song during the closing ceremony in a televised event that was broadcast to over a billion people.

On a visit to South Africa in June 2013 during a speech at the University of Cape Town, President Barack Obama cited Freshlyground as an example of the contributions South Africa has made to the world.

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