The Turffontein racecourse
Horse Racing in South Africa
Horse racing is a popular sport in South Africa. The sport started in 1797 and the first recorded horse race meet took place in 1802. Today, some South African horses and jockeys are known worldwide as some of the best horses and jockeys. The popularity of South African horse racing is on the rise. Today, there are 10 racecourses and 400 tote outlets. Online betting is also becoming popular. Nowadays, Australian and UK bookmarkers have websites that Australians can use to bet on South African races.
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There are two main racecourse owners/managers in South Africa. The Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Company owns Turffontein, Vaal, Arlington, Fairview and Kimberley while the Gold Circle Company owns Greyville, Clairwood, Scottsville, Kenilworth and Dubanville. Each year a total of 450 race meetings are held in South Africa. There is a race virtually every day in the different racecourses. On Saturdays, there are two race meetings. The most famous South African trainer is Mike de Kock who, together with the South African-bred horse Victory Moon, won the $2 million UAE Derby in 2003.
This racecourse is owned by Phumelela company of South Africa and is located in Johannesburg. It is one of the oldest venues in South Africa having been built in 1887.
The racecourse has a 1200 metre straight that joins the round course at about the 800m mark. It is regarded as one of the toughest tracks in South Africa due to a steady climb from the 1200 metre mark straight to the final turn.
Plan are underway to have the racecourse cater for night time races. It is currently being fitted with new floodlights to make sure the lighting is up to scratch. The track side facilities are also being refurbished with a sports bar to cater for night and day spectators.
The Turrfontein racecourse hosts the famous Summer Cup. This is one of the oldest races in South Africa having begun in 1887. The race is held in November and is considered the biggest racing event in Johannesburg. Currently, the event is sponsored by Phumelela Company, Gold Circle and other partners. The winner in 2007 was Strategic News.
Just like many other major racecourses around the world, Turffontein is more than just a racetrack. During the Summer Cup and other racing events that take place throughout the year, one can enjoy a variety of cuisines, mingle with influential celebrities, watch a fashion show or even attend an after party at the end of the race. The atmosphere of the Summer Cup in particular is almost carnival-like. Betting is done all afternoon. Champagne is often served in the hospitality tents and during fashion shows, top designers showcase their best designs.
Betting on Turrfontein races
Australians who want to bet online on races in South Africa can do so by registering through some top Australian or UK racing websites. In order to bet online one must register through his or her favorite racing websites by opening an account.
There are many advantages of betting online on South African races. One is that you do not need to travel to the racetrack or the bookmaker’s shop. It is fast and convenient because you do not need to leave your home and in fact, the process itself is (on average) faster than the other approaches.
Prize money for races at the Turffontein racecourse is governed by a stakes agreement between Phumelela and the Racing Association. About 6% of all tote bets on horse racing go directly to the prize money.
Some racing websites may require you to pay a subscription fee but most websites offer free services. Most websites also accept credit card payments.