Newcomers Guide To Champions Day
For the newcomer to horseracing, the action on Champions Day at Turffontein Racecourse this Saturday provides an opportunity to learn about the sport.
And what better way to do it than in the Intercontinental Village, soaking in a number of experiences and foods from around the world. Whether you want a taste of Mexico, China, Greece, Lebanon, India, Italy or good old fashioned South African braaivleis, we’ve got you covered.
While the food and fun form an integral part of the afternoon, it’s the efforts of the equine stars on the track that will be the talking point of the afternoon.
Here are some pointers for the big day with a few things to look out for. Impress your friends with some of the lingo.
Feature Race: There are nine of these on the day and these races are reserved for some of the better horses. You don’t simply waltz into these events
Nursery: As the same suggests, races with the Nursery attached to it are reserved for young horses. Both the SA Nursery and the SA Fillies Nursery are reserved for two-year-olds. Look out for the future stars in races four and five.
3200m: The longest race on the day. It sees the field in the Gold Bowl (Grade 3) start in the home straight before doing a full circuit of the racecourse. This is a great chance to experience the start of a race from next to the rail.
Computaform Sprint: As the name suggests, this race is a dash up the home straight and will be over in a flash. The 1000m trip will be covered in less than a minute, the sounds of hooves charging up the width of the track will be a serious thrill to experience.
Grade One: You’ll notice this term pops up a couple of times in the race card for Champions Day. This is the highest level of racing you can get and these are the races you want to be winning as an owner. They carry impressive stake money, add value in the breeding shed and of course, bragging rights.
Blinkers: You’ll notice some horses wearing what looks a hood with cups attached on the side. These are known as blinkers and are used to get the horses looking straight and focusing on the task at hand.