Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
3 minute read
24 Mar 2020
3:17 pm

Racing royalty donates billions – but might not save the game

Mike Moon

Two of the most important families in horse racing, the Ruperts and the Oppenheimers, have set an example to SA’s wealthy by contributing R1 billion each to the Solidarity Fund set up to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patrice Motsepe, Nicky Oppenheimer and his wife Orcillia Lasch at a funeral. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Ironically, when President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the new fund on Monday he also announced the great lockdown – apparently delivering a body blow to racing from which it will struggle to recover. Racing is hardly an essential service, so the closed-door meetings that have kept the game ticking over for a couple of weeks look likely to cease as the country hunkers down. The grapevine has it that racing officials will seek government permission to stage some meetings, but prospects are hopeful at best – even if Ruperts and Oppenheimers make personal appeals. Gaynor Rupert, proprietor of Drakenstein Stud in...