The Barbados Turf Club is still actively pursuing the possibility of getting lights placed at its track at the Garrison Savannah.
This was asserted by BTC president Sir David Seale in a wide-ranging interview with†Barbados TODAY†after his horse Aristodemus won the 32nd running of the prestigious Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup on Saturday.
In disclosing that the club was pursuing the matter for the last three years, Seale said the club was awaiting permission from the Town and Country Planning Department but that the World Heritage Committee would not give its approval to their request.
He said that if the lights were to be approved, racing would go on from evening into the night and this would bring much larger crowds to the Garrison.
He added that the island would benefit all-round because evening and night racing would not only bring more locals, but more tourists as well.
With respect to a new track for the BTC, Sir David said finance wise this was not feasible and was not on their agenda because as presently configured “the Garrison is a unique track”.
Commenting on the fact that there were far fewer overseas horses coming over for the Gold Cup than years ago, the BTC president disclosed that the club was not in a position to pay the transport costs of such horses into and out of Barbados.
He noted that the club was not in a position to offer subsidies on horses to owners coming from Trinidad and Tobago and Florida.
As far as this year’s Gold Cup was concerned, Sir David said the very large crowd showed the race was still as popular as ever. He noted that the crowd this year was bigger than last year.
“It was nice to win the race again. It is every owner’s ambition to win a Gold Cup and Aristodemus provided me with my seventh so I’m thankful,” Sir David said.
He disclosed that Aristodemus was not interested in working and as a result he had to do a lot of swimming in the pool.
“He is a class horse so I am not surprised at his victory. Actually we have not seen the best of him yet because he is now coming into his own,” added the BTC president.
Meanwhile trainer of Aristodemus, Elizabeth “Liz” Deane, said she felt elated to win the Gold Cup again since it was the most prestigious race in the Southern Caribbean.
She said she believed†Aristodemus†had a chance of winning once he got in the necessary work and he proved her right.
Aristodemus†gave her her third Gold Cup victory, the other two being stablemate†Dancin David†(2012) and†Whiskey For Me†(2007).With respect to which was the better of the three Gold Cup wins, Deane said that was a difficult question because “they are three different types of horses”.
She hoped that both horses would be able to stay around for next year’s Gold Cup.
With respect to last year’s winner Dancin David finishing fourth in the race, Deane said she was satisfied with his performance which came relatively soon after he had surgery in June last year after being hurt in the Amstel Cup.
Deane thanked all those connected to the stable who would have been responsible for getting the two horses ready for the big race.