THERE are many rumours in the sport of horse racing. I am certainly glad that some of them are true.
A while ago rumours started that this year the Racing Association's (RA) Awards banquet, held at Fairview last Saturday evening, would be one of the best in years.
This was indeed the case.
The RA came up with a different format this time and it was a winner all the way. Racing in Port Elizabeth is on the up with the upgraded facilities at Fairview, the new polytrack and better quality horses. It was good to see that the big night had also been upgraded.
Well done to the chief executive of the RA, Larry Wainstein, and the chairman of the East Cape chapter, Mark Sham, for a great effort. As usual the Eastern Cape secretary, Carol Janse van Rensburg, played a huge role in the evening's success.
It was her 13th awards evening and the highlight of the night was the standing ovation she received when she collected her long-service award.
The work she does behind the scenes justifies the standing ovation, but to do that when battling with your health just shows what a jewel racing in the region has.
The long-service awards and the special awards were also something new at the function and were very well received. It was fitting that some of the hard workers behind the scenes and true ambassadors for Port Elizabeth racing were recognised. Mike Jones, Ntemsi Zomba, Cikizwa Gotyana, Sindiwe Sandrae Mahabeni and Peter Ashton received long-service awards along with Janse van Rensburg.
Special awards were given to Justin Snaith (seven winners at one meeting), Graham Larkin (most regular racegoer), Travis McGrath (youngest winning owner) and another special Port Elizabeth lady, Betty Peters (special parking). Blaze Of Fire was named the horse of the year.
Well, the party is over and it is back to business with eight races at Arlington today. With the Pick 6 pool boosted by a carryover, punters will be chasing a big payout.
Punters' Pal tips for Arlington:
PA R 324
Pick 6 R 1440