New horse race date yet to be determined

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua Turf Club (ATC) is yet to name a new date for the staging of its Post Carnival Race Meet, but President Neil Cochrane said jockeys, trainers and horse-owners were left disappointed after heavy showers on Sunday forced the postponement of the anticipated “Open the Gates 2” showdown.

The meet, which was originally slated for August 4 but was rescheduled in an effort to avoid clashing with Carnival festivities, had to be postponed after water began settling on the surface of Cassada Gardens Race Track.

“To be honest, the guys really have been eager to go at it since Carnival Sunday and having pushed it back a week just as well antagonised some of them, to say the least, but they were really rearing and ready to go,” he said.

“Up until 10 am (Sunday) morning everything was still basically good. We wanted to race and a downpour of rain just really rolled in on us and as a result we had to postpone because water began to actually come up on the surface.

Five races were carded for Sunday’s meet with the feature showdown being a nine-furlong clash between God’s Grace, Jack Idle and Nothing Personal.

Any noteworthy financial losses incurred due to the postponement of the meet, according to Cochrane, would have come from the funds invested in advertising.

“Let’s say you look at the advertising cost primarily because ultimately all the other service providers would have been halted in their tracks so it’s early enough from saving us to having to incur huge loses; so it’s about the marketing funds that we spend,” he said.

“But for the horse owners they have put in a lot of time and effort in nutrition, and race weekend, you have different things that you want to do in terms of buying your vet wrap, racing gear and get ready, so they would incur a little bit of a loss. Some of the things can be used, and if not used, saved for next race day. So I don’t think that the loss is significant.”

The turf boss said a decision will soon be made as to when the meet will be held but hinted it could be as early as this coming Sunday.