THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 17 April 2013, Wednesday
PRC Asks Philracom for Consecutive Racedays
The Philippine Racing Club, owner and operator of Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, is seeing big disadvantages to the current racing calendar given the alarming first-quarter 2013 drop in industry sales and, correspondingly, horseowners’ prizes (HOP) compared to similar periods in the past.
In a March 27 letter to Philracom, the racing club pointed out that the outcome of the present schedule of two non-consecutive days (Tuesday and Friday, Wednesday and Saturday, Thursday and Sunday) for each of the three racing clubs “have so far been short of desirable.”
This schedule, says PRC, “entails bigger cost and more administrative work,” and is confusing for the public to keep track of. The non-consecutive arrangement was initially thought to preserve the HOP. Horseowners will run where they believe they will earn larger purses, and having non-consecutive racing days was thought to promote bettor interest. However, sales figures instead point to a plunge in HOP the past several weeks.
PRC asked Philracom to consider consecutive racing days for each club in rotation, and in such a way that “weak” and “strong” sales days are fairly apportioned.
Space constraints prevent me from outlining all the arguments, which are complex. A decision would entail crunching of voluminous data as well as forecasting, and is not something to be arrived at in haste.
Philracom replied on April 4 saying that they will give all the points due deliberation and consideration.
In terms of marketing and media mileage, consecutive racing days would make more sense. Just last year, when there were still two racing clubs alternating weekly, any organization looking for sponsors for racing festivals packaged their media values in such a way that the advertiser gets maximum bang for their buck, with exposure guaranteed over an entire six-day raceweek at a single track.
Horseowners of the MARHO, Philtobo, and Klub Don Juan de Manila are wondering how they will be approaching sponsors now that each of the three racing clubs is given only two non-consecutive days a week. It would be a logistical nightmare to have a major racing event in more than one venue (we’re talking tarps, streamers, etc.).
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Rabble Rouser led the rest of the field in the PCSO Open Maiden Race trial last April 12 at Metro Manila Turf Club, Malvar, Batangas.
The colt owned by Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos and steered by hotshot rider Jonathan B. Hernandez clocked 1:11.6 (24.8-228-24) over 1,200 meters, besting by half-a length second placer Daragang Magayon, owned by Herminio Esguerra.
In third place was Jose Miguel Chuidian’s Grand Charmer, and fourth Miguel Yulo’s Golden Boots.
Also-rans were Melanie Habla’s Green Lover and Jade Bros. Farm’s Blue Angel. Lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr.’s Shaheed was scratched.
The actual race is set for April 27. ***