Morocco - Hicham Debbagh: “We were lucky to have very good horses on the track this year”

The 19th and 20th November 2016, Anfa’s racecourse at Casablanca welcomed the international thoroughbred racing weekend. The two Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred international racing days were gathered in one weekend. Hicham Debbagh, racing manager at the Sorec, came back for us on this key event of Moroccan races.

The French Purebred Arabian. – What first overview can you make of the weekend?

Hicham Debbagh. – The team in charge of the organization did a very good work. All the people who came over especially for the weekend were pleased and we were complimented by everybody. We are very happy with this edition. It is another successful bet.

Was the Moroccan public present?

The Moroccan owners and trainers were there. But it is true that we have difficulties to attract people on our racecourses. Even though we have dedicated areas for families with animations for children and places to relax, the number of spectators did not break records. It was also a holiday period with bank holidays and maybe it was not an advantage after all. We still have to work in order to hope for more people on our racecourses. The horse is rooted in the Moroccan culture, races a bit less. We will try and develop our marketing strategy in this way.

Have you already got new projects?

We were lucky to have very good horses on the track this year. This will make the rating of our races and horses more interesting in order to get to the Group II level. The French trainers and professionals know us and now remain faithful to us. We need to attract British and Irish professionals, more generally speaking all the Europeans, but also Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Looking at the positive feedback we have had, we should have in 2017 more horses from countries who came this year.

The Sorec has developed an application that broadcasts live the races of the meeting. What about it?

At this stage, the application is only on trial. We will soon make an official launch for it and communicate on it. It is an essential tool for the digitalization of races in Morocco. We cannot afford to be late on new technologies.