THW: Philracom looks into race cancellation at Metroturf

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 22 January 2014, Wednesday


Philracom looks into race cancellation at Metroturf

The Philippine Racing Commission remains on top of things on the racing scene as evidenced by their strict investigation of the failure of races to proceed at Metro Manila Turf Club last Friday.

Philracom Executive Director Jesus B. Cantos issued an advisory to racing stakeholders that evening, stating that the races that day were “officially cancelled due to video coverage airing difficulties.”

He invited Metro Turf managers and the technical department head to the Commission’s office in Makati to a meeting last Monday to “explain the nature of the technical defect.”

The findings, according to Cantos, were that the satellite dish direction was “disoriented by strong winds (force majeure) of past days. “Base plate pictures” showed the direction of the dish tilted downward. Reinforcements for a long-term fix are being made, he said, “while a redundancy mobile satellite dish like [the ones used] in location shooting will be rented as back-up.”

In addition, he said, “pre-broadcast trial will be extended by another two hours.”

A day when races are not held means lost sales of around P30 million. But glitches do happen. Murphy’s Law, remember?

However, it is the responsibility of all racetracks to provide certain facilities in order to be permitted to conduct races, and a reliable broadcast system is one of them. This is especially important now that the racetracks have moved out of Metro Manila to Cavite and Batangas, where track attendance has dwindled to less than five percent, if at all, and sales are entirely dependent on off-track betting stations which rely on the broadcast for patrons to be able to view races.

Metro Turf might be liable for sanctions or penalties. Another meeting will be held at Philracom today to discuss “disturbances and possible degrees of missed responsibilities,” according to Cantos.

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The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has come out with their racing calendar for the year, kicking off with a 3YO Open maiden race at Santa Ana Park on Feb. 15.

They will follow that up with a stakes race, the mile PCSO Freedom Cup at Metro Turf on Feb 23.

Santa Ana Park will host the PCSO Silver Cup on June 22 and the National Grand Derby on Aug 3.

Metro Turf is the venue for the Oct. 12 PCSO 80th Anniversary Race, while San Lazaro Leisure Park will stage the 42nd PCSO Presidential Gold Cup on Nov. 30. All dates and venues are subject to change.

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Congratulations to the new set of officers of the New Philippine Jockeys Association!

Philracom Chairman Angel L. Castaño administered the oath of office last Monday to Gilbert Francisco (president), Valentino Dilema (vice-president), Manolito Daquis (secretary), Antonio Alcasid Jr. (treasurer), Redentor de Leon (auditor), Herminio Dilema (PRO), and Isaac Ace Aguila, Daniel Camañero, Rey-an Camañero, Edwin de la Cruz, Jonathan Hernandez, and Domingo Vacal (directors).  ***

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