THE launch of South Africa's first official national racecard, Computaform Express, has been well received and many users believe it is excellent value for money.
Computaform Express appears twice a week and each book contains information for four to six race meetings at a cost of only R10. It is recognised by the National Horseracing Authority as the country's official racecard.
The national racecard is produced by Phumelela's publishing division on behalf of the country's two racing and betting operators, Phumelela and Gold Circle.
Robert Garner, general manager of marketing and communications at Phumelela, said early indications were that players who bought separate racecards for each meeting really appreciated the low cost of the multi-meeting Computaform Express.
"The content and type of information presented has been specifically selected to satisfy the market segment of racecard users that Computaform Express targets and follows extensive research over the years," said Garner.
"All essential information for making informed betting decisions has been included and is presented in a user-friendly format.
"That we are including from four to six meetings in one book means that space is at a premium and we have to use it judiciously and selectively. We simply cannot include all the information some players would like because this would increase the number of pages and cost.
"Computaform remains the publication that caters for those who spend hours studying form for each meeting and want as much information as possible. There's a Computaform for each meeting and that allows the space to publish the comprehensive information required by these professional players. They form the nucleus of Computaform users and wouldn't consider betting without it.
"Computaform Express targets players who don't need as much information as is found in Computaform, but still want a comprehensive amount of data on which to base their betting decisions.
"And then we have publications like Racing Express in The Citizen and TAB sheets that target players who need information presented in a concise format that enables them to make quick and informed betting decisions.
"Overall we believe Computaform, Computaform Express and our newspaper offerings cater for the different information needs of our customers." Garner said.
Phumelela publishing has received numerous compliments on the new product and a range of suggestions and requests.
"We thank all those who have taken the trouble to offer suggestions, which include requests for breeder information, horse weights, trainer and jockey indexes, class and course records and the stakes breakdown.
"We hear you, and many of your requests are valid, but remember that additional information comes at a cost - either in terms of replacing existing info with other data or by adding more pages.
"We are investigating the implications of each request and are obviously willing to consider changes as Computaform Express evolves," Garner. said