Cape trainers and other visitors will be breathing a sigh of relief following an anxious few days in Port Elizabeth.
The Sporting Post broke the shocking news on Thursday of plans to amend local conditions in favour of protecting local trainers.
A group of locals had mooted a change to the local conditions that, amongst others, would categorise satellite yards as visiting trainers and imposes restrictions on maidens and MR 64 colts and geldings and MR 60 fillies.
The draft amendments appear to have also been railroaded through the process with undue haste and with lip service paid to stakeholder comment and input.
But in a dramatic and heartening turnabout, a letter was issued to PE trainers on Friday afternoon where it was confirmed that Phumelela would not be implementing amendments and, amongst others, would be engaging with the National Horseracing Authority with regard to dealing with the specifics of the merit ratings of PE horses.
This is a reference to the inflationary effect in PE horses’ merit ratings relative to horses from the stronger centres, which can lead to inequalities and impact on their competitiveness.
This advice is in stark contrast to the knee jerk approach originally adopted and appears to be an effort to deal with the cause rather than the symptoms.
Sanity prevails for now – well done to all involved.