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Racecourse Information

A list of horse racing tracks in South Africa. We have included descriptions of the courses to give you a bit more knowledge on the specifics of each track.

You can click on the name of the track below to expand the relevant sections.

Borrowdale Park

Borrowdale Park A right-handed course with a circumference of about 2600m, there is a 1400m straight course which joins the round course approximately 550m from the finish.All races up to and including 1400m are contested over the straight course.The effect of the draw in races down the straight is not dramatic, but possibly favours middle to high numbers.Low numbers are preferred in races over 1600m, but it is a fair course and one blessed with excellent drainage which can handle copious amounts of rain.

Durbanville

Durbanville Race TrackA left-handed course with a circumference of about 2200m,Durbanville has a run-in of about 600m and no straight course.Durbanville’s excellent drainage makes it an ideal winter racing venue and that is when almost all meetings there take place.With the home straight on a downward slope until just before the finish, the ability to at least race handy is important over almost any distance, but the track’s reputation in this regard can also lead to pacemakers going much too fast early on.Horses who race from off the pace need a good turn of acceleration to give of their best at this course.

Low number draws are a marked advantage over almost any distance and Durbanville has a tendency to produce course “specialists.”

The use of the false rail often dictates whether horses come home on the stands-side or along the inside rail.

Bowlers Way, Durbanville – Box 53073

Fairview

Fairview Race TrackA right-handed course with a circumference of approximately 2700m and a run-in of 800m, Fairview has a straight course of 1200m which joins the round course at the 800m mark.
The straight course (and therefore the run-in) is mostly downhill, which means that most races are run at a true pace.
Horses who race from well off the pace have every chance to give of their best.
High number draws hold a marked advantage in races run over the straight course, but barriers seem of little significance in races around the turn.
Fairview tends to be a slow-draining course and the going frequently remains soft or heavy for some time after a wet spell.Polytrack
Fairview PolytrackA right handed all-weather polytrack with a circumference of about 1800m. All races have at least one bend, with races from 1400 to 1800m starting on the bend. The near bend, leading into the 450m home straight, has a slight camber to assist horses racing around it. The track came into operation in October 2013, and evidence of the effect of the draw will evolve with time – although there is the assumption that low numbers in the draw and/or early speed out of the starting gate may count as an advantage, especially in races over 1000m (see map).Draaifontein Rd, Greenbushes 6390, PE Box 7479 Newmarket, Port Elizabeth 6055

Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park Race TrackA right-handed course with a circumference of just under 2200m and a run-in of 600m, Kimberley has the distinction of being South Africa’s only sand racetrack.There is a 1000m straight course which joins the round course 600m from the finish. Races run over 1800m start from a chute extendingbeyond the back straight.Ability to race handy is probably more important here than at any other racecourse, especially in firm and dusty conditions.The draw is also a bigger factor than in most other instances, with high barriers appearing favoured over the 1000m straight course and low numbers having the advantage over almost any distance on the round course.

Start-to-finish winners are particularly common, especially on firm going in the winter months, and Kimberley is notorious for making course “specialists” even out of horses who have shown no ability at all on grass tracks elsewhere.

No 78 Boshoff Road, Kimberley 8300

Tel. (053) 843-0014 Fax. (053) 843-0013

Greyville

Greyville Race TrackA pear-shaped, right handed track with a circumference of about 2900m, Greyville has a run-in of 400m and no straight course for sprints.Horses racing handy frequently do well at Greyville and many a front runner has stolen a march on the opposition, especially when there is a strong south-westerly following wind.Horses who race from off the pace also do well at Greyville, but ability to quicken is essential in such cases.Inside draws are generally favoured over most distances up to 1900m, but more so than most over 1600m as the start is effected right on the top bend.

The effect of a wide draw can be negated to some extent by the siting of the false rail, though, and horses making their run on the outside of the course often hold an advantage when the going is soft.

Greyville PolytrackPolytrack (wax-coated mixture of silica sand and recycled synthetic fibers and rubber/pvc). 2000m inside of the existing triangular-shaped turf track with a 400m run-in. All races run clockwise round turn. Low draws preferred.

The ability to race handy on this surface appears to be an even greater advantage than that of the turf.

150 Avondale Road Greyville, Box 40 Durban 4000

Tel. (031) 309-4545 Fax. (031) 309-2553

Kenilworth

Kenilworth Race TrackKenilworth is a left handed track and is unique amongst South African racecourses in that it consists of three separate tracks.There is a “new” track with a circumference of 2800m and a run-in of about 600m which is used primarily in summer, and an “old” track with a circumference of 2700m and a run-in of about 450m which is normally used for winter racing.There is also a separate 1200m straight course which bisects the infield at a diagonal, the three courses only coming together in the pull-up area.The “new” course particularly is one of the fairest in South Africa and gives every horse a winning chance, but ability to race handy is of greater importance on the “old” course.

The 1200m straight is the stiffest in the country, though.

A climb for the first 200m and another rise over the final 200m make this a real test of ability to stay1200m and horses who go fast early on almost invariably get caught wanting at the finish.

Horses who seem best over middle distances often do well in 1200m races at Kenilworth, especially when the winter going is soft or heavy.

Low number draws are generally favoured in sprints, but fields tend to split into two distinct groups when the going is heavy and outside barriers then enjoy a slight advantage.

Draws are of little importance around the turn, especially on the “new” course.

Rosmead Ave, Kenilworth 7708

Tel. (021) 762-7777 Fax. (021) 762-1919

Scottsville

Scotsville Race TrackA right-handed course with a circumference of 2300m and a separate starting chute for 1800m races, Scottsville has a run-in of 600m, all of it up a fairly steady incline.Despite that, however, horses racing handy have every chance of success.There is a 1200m straight course which joins the round course at the 600m mark.The Scottsville 1200m is a testingone and ability to see out the distance is essential in true-run races.

With a downhill run to the about the 600m mark and a climb to the finish, 1200m races at Scottsville are usually run at a true pace from the start and horses who go too fast early almost invariably are found out by the climb to the finish.

Horses racing from off the pace usually do well in sprints at this track.

The effects of barrier draws in sprints is unpredictable, but high numbers are favoured when the going is soft.

Barrier draws seem of little importance when racing over 1600m and upwards.

Scottsville Racecourse, 45 New England Road, Pmb. Box 40

Tel. (033) 345-3405 Fax. (033) 394-1141

The Vaal

Turf

Vaal Race Track

A right handed course with a circumference of about 2900m, the Vaal consists of two 1000m straights connected by fairly sharp bends.
The run-in of 1000m is the longest in the country, and the Vaal also has South Africa’s only 1600m straight course.
All races of up to a mile are run down the straight, which can be a real test both of a horse’s stamina and of a jockey’s judgement of pace.
Generally, outside draws hold an advantage on the straight course, especially when the going is soft, but in the winter months the two extremes appear equally favourable and fields tend to split into two distinct groups on either side of the course.
Draws are of little significance in races run around the turn.
Despite the length of the run-in, horses racing handy or in front frequently do well at the Vaal.

Sand

Vaal Sand

A right handed course with a 1000m straight course, with the 1000m start taking place at the top of the straight.

Races over 1200m start in the middle of the bend, those over 1400m right at the entrance of the bend.

Starting stalls for races over 1400m are positioned at an angle, to compensate for wide draws – as a result those drawn on the very inside could be cut off unless they jump very quickly. The sand track appears to put a premium on stamina, although making up ground from behind seems more difficult than it is on grass.

Horses racing handy or with the pace may have an advantage.

The sand track at the Vaal was inaugurated in August 2001. It is still too early to determine whether the track is biased towards the inside or outside, and whether there is an advantage to the draw.

Ascot Road, Viljoensdrif, 9580 Box 100 Bedworth Park 1940
Tel. (016) 457-1124 Fax. (016) 457-1113

Turffontein

Turfontein Race Track A right-handed track with a circumference of approximately 2600m, with a 1200m straight course joining the round course at about the 800m mark.Turffontein is widely considered to be one of the stiffest tracks in the country, because of a steady climb from about the 1200m to the final turn.Accordingly, horses racing from well off the pace usually hold every chance.The straight course is flat, though, and the Turffontein 1200m is probably one of the most undemanding in South Africa.

The draw appears to be of little significance in sprints, but low barriers are favoured in races run over 1400m and 1600m.

Turf Club Street, Turffontein, 2190 Box 183 Johannesburg

Tel. (011) 681-1500 Fax. (011) 683-7116

 

Inner Track

Turrfontein Inner TrackThe track is right handed, with a circumference of about 2400m, a long sweeping bend, and a homestraight of just over 500m. Races from 1400m to 1800m start on the back straight, races over 1200m and 1000m come out of separate chutes on the bend, similar to the Turffontein (old) outer course 1400m.

The effect of the draw seems likely to be significant in races over 1400m, where the start is close to the bend, and also in the sprints where runners are on the bend from the break.

Turffontein is widely considered to be one of the stiffest tracks in the country, because of a steady climb from the middle of the bend to the entrance of the final straight. The effect of this on the sprinters in 1000m and 1200m races might be significant, as they have to climb right at the beginning of their races. This could result in races run slowish early on, from which front runners will benefit in the shortish straight. Alternatively, if the pace is on from the start, a certain measure of stamina seems likely to be required to see out the distance.