Part of the build-up to the Castle Tankard is the Card Call which takes place on the preceding Thursday. Without a doubt, this is when the pre-race excitement starts.

If you are a regular Card Call habitue read no further…this is for those who might be put-off attending the Castle Tankard Card Call this evening, Thursday, May 9, because they don’t know how it works.

The Card Call has nothing to do with Tarot cards and so forth – it is basically an auction and the action starts when one buys a ticket – RTGS5 this year.

The bar in the Ipi Tombe Room at Borrowdale Park will open at 5 pm today and Card Call Tickets (RTGS 5 each) will be on sale from 5 30. One can elect to act alone or form a syndicate with friends. Syndicates are popular because that way you have a share in more tickets.

When the Card Call begins all the tickets are placed in a drum and everyone hopes they will draw a horse running in the 2000m Castle Tankard on Saturday, May 11. This Raffle Draw will take place around 6 pm.

The lucky ticket holders (known as the DRAWERS) then decide whether to bid on the horse they have drawn when it is auctioned. Usually, the auction takes place at about 7 pm.

If, as the DRAWER, you successfully bid on your drawn horse you will pay into the pool the actual amount of the final bid.

If you are the successful bidder on a horse, but NOT the DRAWER, you pay in DOUBLE the amount of the final bid. The DRAWER gets half, and the remaining amount goes into the pool.

NB – There is another player who may choose to be part of the action – the REAL owner – i.e. the one who pays the training fees. After the final bid he or she may choose to “DECLARE HALF”. This means the successful bidder and the real owner will each pay the amount of the final bid into the pool – and will share the prize money due if the horse is placed in the big race.

The pool, which is made up of proceeds from the ticket sales and the auction, is divided up and paid out after the Castle Tankard is run. The prizes are based on the first three horses placed in the Castle Tankard – plus a Random place.

That is the simplified version…for all the finer details please read the official Card Call “Rules” which will be available in the Ipi Tombe Room.

The Card Call is hosted by MOTA (Mashonaland Owners & Trainers Association) and everyone is welcome.

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