THW: MJC Ties Up with GMA

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 28 March 2012, Wednesday

MJC Ties Up with GMA

It will soon be possible to view Manila Jockey Club horse races and bet on them through the Internet using various devices such PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and also through SMS.

MJC (owner-operator of San Lazaro Leisure Park) and GMA New Media, Inc. (a subsidiary of GMA Network) have entered into a joint-venture agreement to form Gamespan, Inc.

The spin-off company will operate and manage MJC’s totalizator hardware and software for wagering. It will also set up new media infrastructure using the Internet, SMS, and emerging technological platforms for taking bets, showing the races, and other communication initiatives. New games will also be created that feature not only horseracing but also other sports.

Gamespan will hold broadcast rights to the races for distribution to other broadcasters to extend viewership and participation.

Atty. Alfonso “King” G. Reyno III, MJC executive vice-president and COO, said that they are “quite excited with the formation of Gamespan” and that with this tie-up with “the country’s leading broadcasting network” they are “confident that [MJC] will expand the reach of our business and grow exponentially in the coming years…all this will allow us to provide better products and services to our customers and increase shareholder value.”

MJC’s chairman and CEO, Atty. Alfonso R. Reyno Jr., had been looking into such computer-mediated initiatives for MJC as early as 2005, and using the latest technological platforms for communication have always been an integral part of his vision for MJC’s growth.

This is also good news for horseracing in general. A broader audience and more convenient ways of betting will increase sales during MJC raceweeks, leading to fatter purses and more races being run at MJC with bigger and better fields.

* * * * *

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s first special maiden race of the year will be held on April 14 at SLLP.

Declared to run in the 1,300-meter race for 3YO are the following fillies carrying 53 kgs.: Stall #1: Aristeo Puyat’s Caraga Weather, with jockey Rodeo Fernandez; #2: Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s Quaker’s Hill with Mark Alvarez; #4: Josephy Dyhengco’s Deo Volente with Patty Dilema; and Herminio Esguerra’s Arriba Amor with Fernando Raquel Jr.

The colts will carry 54.5 kgs: #3: Antonio Tan Jr.’s Pugad Lawin with John Alvin Guce, and #6: Dennis Pineda’s Royal Storm with Jesse Guce.

The trial was held yesterday with Royal Storm coming in first, followed by Caraga Weather, Arriba Amor, Deo Volente, Pugad Lawin, and Quaker’s Hill. The total time was 1:24.6 with quarters of 7’-24’-25-27’.

Horses are not pushed in trials, they just need to make a certain time in order to qualify. So this order of arrival does not necessarily reflect the outcome of the actual race, but it’s a guide for handicapping. Just remember that among young horses such as these, upsets often happen.

PCSO will provide these purses: 1st, P600,000; 2nd, P225,000; 3rd, P125,000, and breeder’s prize of P50,000.  ***

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