New Starting Gate As Cochrane Retained As Turf Boss

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The acquiring of a larger starting gate is expected to boost participation at the Cassada Gardens Race Track and more so, during the staging of this year’s Triple Crown Series.
This is according to newly re-elected President of the Antigua Turf Club (ATC), Neil Cochrane, who said that they, through the assistance of a regional partner, will have the use of a starting gate that allows for more horses to compete in any given race.
“We are going to get some support from the Beaumont Park Race Track in St. Kitts in terms of their starting gate they had when they operated a few years ago and we are going to get that on loan particularly for the Triple Crown Series that’s coming up. It’s an eight- horse starting gate so that gives us more capacity so whereas we have a six-horse now, we are going to have an eight-horse starting gate for the Triple Crown Series,” he said.
Cochrane was returned as head of the turf club when the organisation held its Annual General Meeting and elections on Wednesday night.
He defeated his lone challenger, Jerome “Jerry” Roberts, by a vote of 24-8 and will lead the organisation for the next two years.
Roberts was installed as First Vice President, beating Dave Welsh by a vote of 17-14. Lorenzo Looby retained the position of Treasurer unopposed.
Carlos Samuel was also returned in his capacity as Secretary, beating Ashton McCoy 19-12 while Ajahni Sheppard, Carl Warner, Clarence Joseph, Jeff Jacobs and Welsh were all elected floor members.
Cochrane said it will take a team effort to move the sport to another level.
“I hope that the chemistry will blend but it’s not really about president and vice president. We have a nine-member executive so, at the end of the day, it will have to be everyone working together and beyond us, of course, you have the other stakeholders in terms of the horse owners and trainers and the general membership. So from my perspective it has to be a team effort,” the turf boss said.
Roberts, a former president, said his decision to vie for a position on the executive came out of love for the sport and a will to see progression for all.
“There are a lot of things that people look at and it’s easier from the outside to nitpick and to find faults with everything but in order to make changes for the positive you get yourself involved and that’s why I got back involved. And that’s not saying there was anything that I saw, more than the other, that was wrong but there are changes that need to be made and I think Neil would agree and together we can hopefully work it out as an executive,” he said.
The Antigua Turf Club will host its Pre-Labour Day Meet at the Cassada Gardens Race Track on Sunday.

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