Cape Racing has announced the launch of an industry-first exciting new syndication incentive program.

The initiative will be run through Cape Racing’s recently unveiled Cape Turf Club membership body.

The initiative is based on promoting ownership within the region and on expanding and transforming the ownership ranks.

Owners within a syndicate will have the option to join the Cape Turf Club as syndicate members, if they are not NHA colour holders. There will be a series of bonus initiatives attached to the program.

The bonuses will incentivize the owners of each horse within the syndicate and the syndicate managers. Cape Racing believes that this program will help facilitate career opportunities for prospective bloodstock agents and syndicators.

Justin Vermaak

Justin Vermaak, Cape Racing’s head of Racing & Bloodstock, explained further.

“We are always looking to find ways to increase and broaden our ownership base. Syndication is the way forward for horse racing. One only needs to see the huge success of syndication in Australia to know that syndication is imperative for our market. The high cost of individual horse ownership will undoubtedly drive the need for syndication. The nuances of the South African thoroughbred market make the need for a strong syndication market even more essential. The lack of a resale market and the ratio of prize money to the costs of keep are two particular issues that have made it challenging to attract and retain owners. Naturally, an “out of kilter” cost-to-stakes ratio has made the syndication business in South Africa extraordinarily tough, making it difficult for agents and syndicators to earn a living from syndicating horses. We are looking at addressing this issue by incentivizing syndicators so that there is a potential sustainable career in this arena of the market.”

Cape Racing continues to focus intensely on fixing ownership challenges. This has primarily taken place through sizable increases in stakes and incentives. For example, even a Cape “Restricted Maiden” winner collects enough prize money to cover at least ten months of training costs.

With the introduction of the RaceCape Incentive Scheme powered by Hollywoodbets, two runs and a placing over two months is enough to cover the monthly training cost of a horse.

Aside from prize money, Cape Racing is revamping and enhancing the ownership experience. This aspect of horse racing is as important as prize money, if not more important. These two foundations of ownership – healthy stakes and an outstanding ownership experience – form the cornerstone of syndication. With these two bases covered, Cape Racing can now turn its attention to the syndication market.”

Added Greg Bortz, the Chairman of Cape Racing: “We have stated from the beginning of our journey a year ago that the owner is THE key to the success and sustainability of racing. We wanted to broaden and strengthen our ownership base and, more importantly, make ownership as affordable as possible to people from all socio-economic backgrounds. By dividing the cost of purchasing and keeping a racehorse into “bite sizes,” we increase our chances of attracting desperately needed new blood into our magnificent sport.”

Cape Racing also sees syndication as a unique opportunity to assist the smaller training yards in the Western Cape by spreading the horses purchased across the length and breadth of the Western Cape’s outstanding trainers.

Cape Racing’s support of syndicates will be threefold:

  1. Cape Racing will assist in the marketing and promotion of each licensed syndicator. If the syndicate is a start-up, Cape Racing will assist in its initial setup. This will include logo design, website, and social media page building. Cape Racing will also provide dedicated content assistants to each syndicate. The syndicator will receive high-quality content, from track work to race footage, that he or she can offer and send to his or her owners through the content assistant. Cape Racing will also promote each licensed syndicator through all our web and social media channels.
  2. Cape Racing will be offering financial assistance to syndicators. Each licensed syndicator will receive six months’ interest-free payment terms at a Cape Racing sale. This helps the syndicators extend slightly so there is always stock on the shelf for new owners. Cape Racing will also pay the syndicator a 2% commission on horses purchased for their syndicate from a Cape Racing sale.
  3. Incentives will be paid out to both the ownership of the horse and the syndicate manager based on the success of the syndicate horse. The size of the incentives paid out will depend on the category of trainer of each horse. The incentive payouts will be as below:

CATEGORY A TRAINER (a top 3 position on the Cape trainers log the previous season):

  • R20 000 win bonus to the ownership (One win bonus per horse a season)
  • R5 000 win bonus to the syndicate manager (One win bonus per horse a season)
  • R250 RaceCape fee to the syndicate manager per runner

CATEGORY B TRAINER (log position between 4th  and 6th  on the Cape trainers log the previous season):

  • R20 000 win bonus to the ownership (Two win bonuses per horse a season)
  • R5 000 win bonus to the syndicate manager (Two win bonuses per horse a season)
  • R500 RaceCape fee to the syndicate manager per runner

CATEGORY C TRAINER (log position of 7th and below on the Cape trainers log the previous season)

  • R20 000 win bonus to the ownership (Three win bonuses per horse a season)
  • R5 000 win bonus to the syndicate manager (Three win bonuses per horse a season)
  • R750 RaceCape fee to the syndicate manager per runner

Explained Justin Vermaak: “We have an imbalance amongst the trainer ranks in the Western Cape. We need to try to boost our smaller yards as much as possible. This creates a healthier horse population and provides further opportunities for horses to run. We also appreciate that syndicating horses with the so-called “smaller” stables is more challenging than selling horses to be trained by the big names. Thus we will base our incentives according to the category of trainer. The trainers’ championship standings determine the category at the end of each season. This removes any opinion or judgment in placing trainers into categories. Prior season log position is the sole determining factor.”

On top of these incentives, Cape Racing will host a “Syndicators Championship.”

All qualifying runners will earn points for their respective syndicators.

At the end of the season, the champion syndicator will win R100 000 and be awarded the leading syndicator award at the Cape Racing Awards. There will also be bonuses for the syndicators filling the top five places on the championship log.

Added Vermaak: “The process to get signed up as a licensed syndicator is simple. Contact our team, and we will send the necessary registration paperwork. We will require documentation and conduct our vetting process to ensure the applicant’s good standing. Once approved, the syndicator will receive an official verification badge from the Cape Turf Club. This serves as proof that the syndicator has been officially licensed by us and passed our vetting control, which gives prospective owners and shareholders a show of confidence in the authenticity of the syndicator. Once onboard as a licensed syndicator, we will work hand in hand to ensure the growth and stimulation of your syndicate.”

Once onboard as an official syndicate, the syndicator must apply for each horse to qualify for the incentives.

During this process, Cape Racing will ensure that each horse has been syndicated in the program’s spirit. Cape Racing has set certain qualifying criteria.

For example, each horse must be at least 50% owned by the syndicate. Also, a minimum of six owners are needed for the ownership group to be designated as a syndicate.

The program intends to grow the ownership base with new owners and transform the ownership base in the Cape.

Gathering a small group of existing high-profile and well-established owners to form a syndicate, for example, will not result in qualification for the incentives. All information will be clearly illustrated to each syndicator upon application.

For further information, please contact Justin Vermaak at email:

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Designed and developed by Keyweb.