Thwaites: Racing won’t be the same without spectators

The Antigua Turf Club is targeting the end of August or early September for the return of races at the Cassada Gardens Race Track. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Horse racing will not be the same without its usual animated supporters and if given the go ahead to resume races at the Cassada Garden’s Race Track, horse owner Dr Dwayne Thwaites believes spectators should be allowed to attend the event.

Thwaites, owner of popular thoroughbreds like Scrumpum and Mulatto, said there is enough room at the facility that would allow spectators to observe the required social distancing protocols while enjoying the races.

“The great thing about it is that people want to see races. They are longing to see Scrumpum, Syrian Soca is kicking up and people want to see that so we, probably in our first race, might get a tremendous turnout. The need for horseracing is high … it’s been about a year now since we’ve done any races so I think that the absence makes the heart grow fonder and I think that’s what we are going to see once we open back up,” he said.

Thwaites, who had earlier said the Antigua Turf Club is eying a return to racing at the end of August or early September, believes that with the improvements due to come following work on the turf at the facility, the experience would be even greater for patrons.

“If we get a good surface we are going to get good races, so we have started doing what you call a stud book and we have started breeding horses in Antigua. We do have some horses with some good lineage and right now we have about 10 locally bred horses that are ready to run and I think that’s where the money is going to be and that’s what we’re hopeful for,” he said.

There have been no races at the Cassada Gardens Race Track in over a year following the staging of the final stage of the Antigua Triple Crown Series in June last year.

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