General Manager returns to Kenilworth

PUBLISHED: 05 March 2020

Kenilworth Racing is to have a general manager once more. This post was abolished, presumably as a cost-cutting measure, some years ago and was not thought necessary when the day-to-day running of Kenilworth and Durbanville was taken over by Phumelela under a management arrangement.

Recruitment consultants Baard and Partners have been appointed to find a suitable person and their advertisement appears on the Sporting Post website. Applicants are expected to have a post-graduate business qualification and at least ten years of relevant experience.

The job involves rather more than just ‘the buck stops with you’ problems on racedays and complaints from racegoers. The successful applicant will be expected to secure maximum returns from the company’s considerable property portfolio as well as from functions and conferences, and also to attract sponsors.

The appointment will be a major stepforward in re-establishing good relations with the racing and betting public. For too long racegoers have had nobody to whom they could address their concerns – whether they were about the food, betting display boards, non-working escalators or anything else. Just having somebody who is known to be in overall charge will work wonders. Applications should be emailed to

Jonathan Snaith and Justin Vermaak have resigned from the Western Cape Chapter of the Racing Association at the RA’s agm held at Kenilworth and Turffontein Racecourses last month. This is one of several fascinating facts to emerge from the copy of the minutes obtained by the Sporting Post and published on its website.

The relevant minute states that they resigned under the terms of the RA’s Memorandum of Incorporation but (surprisingly) did not make themselves available for re-election. They have been replaced by racecourse commentator Philip Sarembock and Drakenstein racing manager Kevin Sommerville who will sit alongside CTS sales boss Wehann Smith, Ridgemont’s Craig Kieswetter and Avontuur Stud owner Philip Taberer.

Sarembock called for riding fees to be reduced in order to increase the return to owners. Quite what the jockeys will make of this proposal can only be imagined! The proposal was not adopted but, according to the minutes “discussions were ongoing.”

Mike de Kock, who is a director of the RA, proposed that money contributed by race sponsors should be split 50:50 between stakes and Phumelela. At one time Phumelela got the lot but at the moment it is divided 70:30 with Phumelela taking the lion’s share.

By Michael Clower