ARC boss eager for June 27 resumption

Robert Bernard - Joel Bailey
Robert Bernard - Joel Bailey

PRESIDENT of the Arima Race Club (ARC), Robert Bernard, is eager for a resumption of the 2020 season, at the Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister, during a covid19 media conference, said, “We were hoping we would have been in a position to grant permission for the Labour Day horse racing event but we couldn’t.

“Today, I can say to the horse racing fraternity, go back to your business, horse racing is allowed,” Dr Rowley added. “Remember the basic principles of social distancing and cleanliness.”

Bernard, on Monday, said, “We’re supposedly starting on Saturday. We’re not going to allow patrons right now. We’re anxious to get this thing going again.

“I’m really happy over what the Prime Minister said over the weekend. We’re going full speed ahead. Hopefully, as time goes by, and things get a bit better, we’ll allow patrons.”

Bernard added, “We’ll have enough space at the facility to have the social distancing practice quite easily. We have to be guided by the Government.”

According to Bernard, the ARC is looking to stage a six-race card this Saturday. However, with the absence of spectators at Arima, he is urging punters to take advantage of the MBet system.

The Jockeys Association met on Sunday morning, at the Santa Rosa Park, to discuss outstanding fees owed to them.

Bernard said, “The jockeys wrote the club a letter and I got a copy of it (on Monday) morning. We cannot address it at this point in time because we haven’t earned an ounce of revenue (during the covid19 lockdown).

“It is a liability we have (to deal with) and they will get paid eventually. It is a work in progress.”

The 2020 season has been on pause since March 14, when sporting events in TT were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bernard said, “The last three months have been disastrous for the industry. We lost owners, we lost a lot of horses. Some of (the owners) couldn’t sacrifice any longer. It’s regrettable from our standpoint.

“We now have to put shoulder to the wheel and try to build some more confidence in the industry. Try to attract new owners on the one hand and certainly try to get our older ones to come back in.”


"ARC boss eager for June 27 resumption"

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