THE NEW PADDOCK, RACING ENVIRONMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURES.
Last Sunday 5th June, all Mauritians horse racing fans on the island and around then world got to witness the birth of a 2nd horse racing organiser, the PTP – the People’s Turf PLC. While many fans, trainers and owners were all very excited to have their horse finally race, many horse racing fans, owners and stables were not impressed at all with their new setup, the comments on social media said it all.
13 out of the 17 stables took part in this 1st meeting and 4 stables and trainers, horse owners and MTC members refused to partner with the PTP 1st meeting. Some voiced their opinions on local radio and during interviews, while others showed where they stand through not being in on the action. The stables which did not take part in the 1st meeting are:
- Vincent Allet
- Gilbert Rousset
- Rampatee Gujadhur
- Pretam Daby
We clearly understand why some trainers did not want to take part in this season. The first meeting for us was full of hiccups, races were late, the sound not good and worst we saw a couple of handlers pushing the rails inside which had pop onto the track while horse flew past them.
Here is a video of the new paddock.
Let’s hope it doesn’t rain too much this 2022.
We all saw on live TV a brand new but incomplete paddock with their new stalls, temporary stand for the photofinisher, images on WhatsApp and social media of the new journalists, and trainers room was shared. Surely the trainers missed their old privileges and ways inside the MTC paddock and the luxury and comfort of their lodge and all the folklore and services across the road at the MTC. While we are excited that races is finally on, we are very sad to not see the old paddock used, nor the crowds at the Champ de Mars which will never be matched, there was not the same vibe and definitely not the same horse racing experience that the MTC bought each week.
A New Era, they claim, let us all wait and see. We believe that the MTC and PTP must come to a compromise and look at a win-win deal when general public will be allowed back at the races to have access to give the paddock to the PTP and stables who wants to use it, same for the member’s and stables lodges, allow back all the bookmakers in their respective stalls, open the restaurants, bars and allowed all the popular dholl-puri and street vendors for all to enjoy racing. To kill this world renown institution of 210 years which is the MTC is not democratic nor will it play in the favour of the new horse racing organiser. You will never succeed at bringing joy into racing with an alienation of the MTC and all those who participated at making the Champ de Mars what is used to be prior your arrival, nor will you be internationally recognised.
Firstly, let us give you the full picture while driving inside the Champ De Mars last Saturday. The day before the PTP’s inauguration. The grass around the premises outside was so high you could collect them and make enough “balie fatak” with so much grass. Inside the racetrack it is even worst, it is a building site, the main pond is empty, no water or once upon a time flying water from spring jets made the joy of all the kids and public who came to visit this once prestigious attraction. Let’s not only blame the MTC, what about the Municipality of Port Louis, every one is on leave, the degrading asset around and at the racetrack is in such an appalling state just like most of our other public gardens and tourism attractions around the island. Let’s hope that this new organiser will be able to give this new Hippodrome Club like the signage says in front of their HQ an international standard like they claim. We have all seen the 3D pictures of the new Champ De Mars they want to build inside the racetrack circulating on social media. Will this be done in the next few years? As of right now, it is not a pretty site nor will this attract any tourists let alone the Mauritian horse racing fans. Without access to all the MTC infrastructures, horse racing in Mauritius will never be the same.
On the upside, this week, the MTC finally got their license and is organising the second race meeting this Saturday 11th June. We are so glad to hear that. They will organise 20 meetings out of 40 from the calendar sharing it with PTP on an alternative weekend basis. This Saturday is the prestigious The Duchess of York Cup a G2 race on 1400m and will see the finest new horses from SA from only 3 stables with a MR of 50+ race. The oldest stable love collecting these G1 and G2 Cups and stakes money. They lined up 3 of their finest horses which are representing them. We will go with the trio of the Gujadhur’s Shah Akbar which is our favourite to win The 2022 Duchess Cup and his other 2 horses to claim the 2nd and 3rd places. We know that the fittest and most prepared horse will win this main race.