Police Fire Rubber Bullets On South Africa's Biggest Raceday

South Africa

Racing at Turffontein in South Africa was delayed by two hours on Saturday after what was supposed be the countries biggest day of racing turned into a nightmare as police fired rubber bullets at stable staff protesting.

The days racing in Johannesburg was totally overshadowed after the grooms used the occasion to protest over better pay for stable staffs in South Africa.

The Police were immediately called to the track where the protests became ugly which saw the police shooting at the crowd using rubber bullets and it managed to get the protesters to disperse.

This meant the racing had to be put on hold before everything could be sorted out and cleaned up and overall, two hours later Turffontein got racing back on.

Back in June something similar to this happened but nowhere near to the same scale with grooms going on strike about the amount of pay they are receiving.

(Credit Racing Post) One of South Africa's most well known trainers Mike De Kock spoke about the events on Saturday and said: "It has left me questioning my own loyalty to South African racing."

He has since decided to open a satellite yard in Australia that will be operated by his son and assistant Matthew that was done in the hope that De Kock can have more runners down under.

The trainer had five runners Gauteng Summer Cup but unfortunately could not get the winner of the Grade One feature contest and it was taken by 28/1 shot Zillzaal.

Winning jockey was the apprentice Denis Schwarz and he said on the events of Saturday: I took him down early and it all worked in his favour. I felt if you have a ticket you have a chance and there wasn't much pace on, but big thanks to [trainer] Sean Tarry for allowing me to go forward."