Grooms boss White thinks scrapping of Diamond Mile a big blow to local racing

Horse Racing

Grooms boss White thinks scrapping of Diamond Mile a big blow to local racing

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Fabian “Tallyman” White, president of the Grooms' Association of Jamaica, says while he is waiting with anticipation for the return of competitive racing at Caymanas Park, he is very disappointed that the Diamond Mile has been dropped from the racing calendar.

During a virtual panel discussion recently, Solomon Sharpe, chairman of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), said the Diamond Mile, the region's most lucrative and exciting horse racing event, will no longer be on the calendar once competitive horseracing resumes at Caymanas Park.

The Diamond Mile event from the outset in 2015 was being undertaken by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) to provide a catalyst to revive the horseracing sector.

“I think it was a great move by organisers to introduce the Diamond Mile on the calendar. The Diamond Mile was an outstanding event, the crowd support each year was huge and it was beneficial to the racing industry as well. The Diamond Mile was on course to get the sport back on track as everyone was exciting about the event,” said White.

He added that that groom in particular benefited from the prestigious event.

“The Diamond Mile carried a mouth-watering purse which was paid out from first to 10th-place finishers in the race and that is a joy from a groom perspective. The grooms are really happy about this move. But for this not to be running anymore, I am very much disappointed as I don't know what will help and bring the excitement to racing again,” White said.

“I mean, you have the Triple Crown [1000 and 2000 Guineas, St Leger and Derby], the Gold Cup and Supertsakes and they are prestigious races, but they are not the Diamond Mile,” he went on.

White noted that he hopes something as equally exiting, or even more exciting, will replace the Diamond Mile.

'This is a loss to the industry, and I hope the promoters have something else in mind to replace the Diamond Mile as there is [going to be] a huge gap when racing resumes,” White told the Jamaica Observer.

A proposal had been put forward by SVREL for racing to resume at Caymanas Park on June 6 without spectators, in keeping with Government guidelines and the restriction that speaks specifically to gatherings.

“The hope right now is for racing to resume as early as possible and I would love that to happen as well. Speaking for the grooms, we really want it [racing] to resume as it is very hard for us [grooms].

“Right now, I miss racing and I am very excited waiting on the return of racing at the Park. We do nothing else other than racing,” the president ended.

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