BIG MONEY UP FOR GRABS Last year, the winner, subsequent ‘Horse of the Year’ SEEKING MY DREAM, received a record $6.5 million, while lucrative purse money was paid to the first 10 past the post, an unprecedented move. In addition, a commemorative trophy valued at $500,000 donated by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission will be won outright by the owner of the winner, while the winning trainer, jockey, breeder and groom will also receive trophies. The launch, though put on this early for a race scheduled to be run in December, attracted the top executives from related entities, including Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited; Paul Hoo, chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited and Gary Peart, chairman of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission who conceived the idea for the Diamond Mile in the summer of last year. In a brief address, Peart said: “The BG&LC is pleased to report on the highly successful inaugural staging of the Diamond Mile , held just seven weeks ago, on Saturday, December 5, 2015, exceeded all expectations. The main objectives of the event were to stimulate growth of the racing sector, to increase revenue for the Government of Jamaica and to attract new target groups to racing, thereby also creating a positive cultural shift for the racing community and I am happy to report we achieved all of that and more. “The record for the highest handle ($66 million) for any one race was broken, so too the record for the most money spent on any one race, despite the fact that the inaugural Diamond Mile was held against competing high-profile events. “The turnout was excellent and all guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly,” said Peart, who disclosed that plans are in the pipeline of creating a five-year plan for the Diamond Mile including a week-long festival of racing. – O.C. Two major changes have been made for the second running of the $13.9 million Diamond Mile to be run on Saturday, December 10 this year. This was announced at the recent launch by CTL’s racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr, following consultations with racing stakeholders and the organisers of the event, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and corporate sponsors, including Supreme Ventures Limited. The organisers were responding to concerns among owners and trainers that last year’s inaugural running on December 5 saw the omission of a number of good horses who, despite their form, did not have the requisite lifetime earnings to force their way in the field (first 16). These horses include the Caymanas Invitational Mile winner PHINEAS, Caribbean Sprint Champion POKER STAR, as well as CAMPESINO and the vastly improved filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN. This has prompted two major conditional changes going forward. First of these is that the winners of the Jamaica Derby, the Superstakes, Caribbean Sprint Championship and Invitational Mile will get automatic entry into the race. The second change is that instead of lifetime earnings, the other horses will earn their place based on their year-to-date earnings from January 1, 2016 to December 3. Earnings gained from claiming races will not be considered. This year the race will offer a record $13.9 million (US$115,000) which represents an increase over last year’s purse due mainly to the movement of the Jamaican dollar against the US dollar.
Dear Editor,It’s quite late at night and sleep is yet to visit me as I lay awake submerged in the sad reality that life in Guyana has come full circle and we are once again starkly staring at a full-fledged PNC dictatorship. But this time it is far worse than that which Guyanese had experienced during the period 1964 to 1992.This time, it began almost as soon as the PNC-dominated coalition assumed Office with the complete disdain and utmost defiance of the Supreme Law of the land which ironically was conceived and given birth to during the same dark era of Burnham’s PNC dictatorship rule.It was equally sad to helplessly stare in bewilderment as two of Cheddi Jagan’s self-proclaimed ‘disciples’, Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan, joined hands with the very people who had terrorised, impoverished and oppressed the entire Guyanese nation and have now themselves metamorphosed into an integral part of the growing PNC dictatorship.In fact, they have now become worse dictators having immersed themselves in the wealth snatched from the blood, sweat and tears of the taxpayers. Ill-gotten wealth which could have fed the children of the thousands of jobless persons, which could have created jobs for our young people and which could have improved the healthcare of the poor masses. All these are issues which they have fought against the same PNC which they now gleefully embrace.The masses in Guyana are poor people, of which multitudes have fled from their homeland in a courageous quest to bring good to themselves and families and they live abroad with the earnest hope that one day those living in poverty will live an improved life in an economically prosperous environment. In 1992, we saw the advent of such a life as Guyanese were taken from dire poverty and oppression into a journey which saw their lives improved almost on a daily basis.Guyana was taken from bankruptcy to prosperity and for 23 years had almost forgotten the 28 years suffered under the PNC dictatorship when it was a crime to eat food! Empty shelves became filled as never before and Guyanese were becoming owners of homes and luxurious items as not only needs but wants were fulfilled.Our National Treasury was once again becoming filled as we moved up the economic ladder to become a middle-income country. Guyanese had started to go to the US on vacation enjoying their ten-year visa. But this came to an end in 2015 which saw the venomous resurgence of the PNC and the diminishing of such holiday visas as Guyanese once again are seen as fleeing from economic hardships.The coalition’s adamant refusal to abide by the Constitution and the defiance for the rule of law has exposed its true dictatorial nature, not only to Guyanese but to the world at large. It took a meagre four years for that to materialise! Many Guyanese had thought that in this new era, that the PNC, after several baptismal names change, would have learnt an invaluable lesson from the 28 years it was in Government and sought to erase that sinister and catastrophic image it had indelibly carved in their psyche.But that was not to be since the true PNC characteristic began to emerge on a daily basis as squandermania, corruption, cronyism, criminal activities and harsh taxation measures wreaked havoc as the balance of payments deficit grew, our gross domestic product declined and economic development took a plunge. We now have bigger budgets but equally bigger corruption.It now becomes clear that the coalition is bent on an illegal trajectory to remain in power even if it means to once again become a pariah to the civilised nations of the world.They believe that the revenue from oil will see them through this time around but they are mistaken. Guyanese will not allow the PNC to get away with its dictatorial rule this time. We demand that democracy prevails!We have had enough of poverty and hunger under the PNC and we must now stand up to this PNC monster which once again threatens to gobble this nation. We demand that GECOM’s Chairman be appointed and elections be held by September 18, 2019, as per our Constitution and the CCJ’s rulings. We demand that the delaying tactic of House-to-House Registration be jettisoned immediately! We want no more PNC fabricated delaying tactics!Yours sincerely,Haseef Yusuf