Jean Michel Giraud resigned as president and administrator of the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC) on Wednesday morning. The hopes are now high that the racing season will start soon.
Jean Michel Giraud was elected president of the MTC for the 7th time in March 2022. Since then, he was in a tug-of-war with the authorities by saying: “we do not agree to lose our prerogatives which are those of the horse racing authority in Mauritius.”
This got worse in 2022 as the MTCSL applied for a Horse Racing Organiser licence. This resulted in a battle with authorities such as the GRA, the Horse Racing Division (HRD), the Municipality of Port-Louis and the State which has resumed its rights to the Champ-de-Mars. The injunction entered in the Supreme Court and which was refused last Monday was the final trigger. The MTCSL has announced that it no longer wants to take charge of the grooms, and the trainers asked the departure of Jean Michel Giraud. He submitted his resignation by email to the MTC secretary on Wednesday.
Jean Michel Giraud said he understood that as long as he is there, the MTCSL will not have his license to organize the races. “ I leave with great serenity. I did the job, I think. I have never resigned from my beliefs. I still have the same beliefs today. I fought to bring a little integrity to this industry. The jobs of a certain number of MTC and MTCSL employees are threatened,” said Jean Michel Giraud.
The Administrator of the MTC will elect a new president on Friday, May 13. Meanwhile, they will try to get back the lease for the use of the Champ-de-mars racetrack from the ministry of Land and Housing. And the MTCSL will pay for the HRO licence afterwards.
All the racegoers, trainers, jockeys and other persons working in the racing industry are hoping that things will get better, and the new season will start shortly.
But some questions remain. Will the MTC accept all the conditions of the authorities whilst leaving aside most of its prerogatives? Or will there be other battles before we here the first GO of the 2022 season?