The Arima Race Club (ARC) Independence Day seven-race card has been cancelled due to the lack of approval from the Ministry of Health. President of the ARC Robert Bernard confirmed on Sunday for Guardian Media Sports.
He told Guardian Media Sport that the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Attorney General stated that with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restriction and protocols currently in place it means that racing would not be allowed.
Since August 15th when the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Keith Rowley addressed the nation during a Ministry of Health press conference from the Diplomatic Centre, in St Ann's, he announced the lockdown measures. And on Saturday in the latest update from the Ministry of Health, he intimated that the system restricts public gatherings, the cessation of in-house dining and the closure of beaches and rivers among other measures. These measures were put into effect on August 17th for the 28 days.
This is another historic mark in racing in Trinidad and Tobago, as the country celebrates its 58th Year of Independence today.
Racing is run and managed by the Betting Levy Board (BLB), who primary collects the taxes on behalf of the Government and re-distribute part of those proceeds back to the sport through partial financing of the purses. Feedback from the Betting Levy Board indicates that, in the pandemic environment, they are also required to provide a betting license to the ARC each week so that races can take place, while the Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority (TTRA) is responsible for the overall administration of the sport and dispute resolution and the ARC is responsible for the hosting of the races and the maintenance of the facilities to be used. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the line ministry responsible for the sport, as opposed to the Ministry of Sport.
The ARC had planned an exciting day's programme which would have featured an estimated 90 horses which included the feature event, the Grade One - Independence Cup over 1,800 metres on the turf track at Santa Rosa Park.
However, with the latest update from the Ministry of Health yesterday, there are 23,530 samples of which 1,691 are positive cases with 998 being active. To date, 21 persons have died. The Ministry has discharged 672 individuals.
The Horse Of The Year 2019 Juice Man was set to continue his winning ways in the $50,000 purse event. This event would have also marked the first run on the turf track for Juice Man, along with three of the John O'Brien challengers in the event, namely, Apocalypse, Making Headlines and the Jerry Narace owned General JN.
This is just another setback following the August 21 when the Administrative Building of the (ARC) at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, was alleged to have been firebombed.
The building which housed the Administrative Building was destroyed.
The next race day is carded for September 12th and this could also be in trouble also, with the end of the first 28th day of the new lockdown phase set to end on September 14th.