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WSB Grand Series Is Born!

Vaal will not be ready for Saturday

The World Sports Betting Grand Heritage scheduled to be run at the Vaal on Saturday will be replaced by the World Sports Betting Grand Series at Turffontein – effectively splitting the field in two with both races offering stakes of R500 000.

Following a track inspection late on Monday yesterday, the decision was made that the track will not be race ready come Saturday.

The track inspection was organised by Clyde Basel, Racing Executive for Phumelela, who invited stakeholders to join him at the 2000m mark yesterday and to walk all the way to the winning post in order to ascertain first-hand the current condition of the track.

After the long walk, the stakeholders involved met for close on two hours after which it was decided to move the Heritage to Turffontein and to run it as two separate races.

“The decision has been taken to move the Grand Heritage and all the other races carded for the Vaal on Saturday, to the Turffontein Inside Track,” Basel said last night. “All the nominations for Saturday’s races have been reopened, but the original declared Heritage runners will get preferential treatment when it comes to elimination stage.”

According to Basel the two races will now be called the World Sports Betting Grand Series Leg 1 and 2, both being run over 1475m.

The winners of the two races will qualify for a match race early in December at the Vaal to determine who carries the title of Series Champion. “It will give new meaning to the phrase two-horse race,” Basel said last night. The stakes for that race will be announced in due course.

The announcement of the final fields for both the Grand Series races will be broadcast on TellyTrack on Tuesday.

Clyde Basel

Clyde Basel -stakeholders in agreement

According to Basel prize monies will be paid up to 10 places in both the Grand Series races.

The Heritage was originally scheduled to be run on 29 September, but was postponed to this coming Saturday due to the track not being race ready.

Basel said the stakeholders who joined in the walkabout on the Vaal track on Monday were in agreement that although a marked improvement in the racing surface is evident, the track needs to improve further.

“Our estimate is that the track will need another couple of weeks to return to racing standard.

“Our main concern is for the safety of the horses and the jockeys and therefore a unanimous decision was taken to move the Heritage.

“Our sponsors, World Sports Betting, support the decision and are excited about the match race to come.

“We tried our best to accommodate the Heritage, but we are not prepared to take unnecessary risks and we don’t want to delay the Heritage any further.”

Dean Diedericks

Dean Diedericks – ‘trying winter’

National track Manager Dean Diedericks said: “It’s been a very trying winter for Vaal racecourses but we are slowly but surely overcoming the issues.”

Earlier on Monday, Phumelela issued a media release in which the JSE-listed company announced that Andy O’Connor, former chairman of the NHA, will lead a commission mandated to review the track management systems for Phumelela.

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5 comments on “WSB Grand Series Is Born!

  1. Dawid says:

    I said this on 28 September 2018 on this website when it was said that a new broom sweeps clean. No-one listened. These employees at Phumelela are ruining racing and the NHRA and Free State Gambling and Liquor Board are doing nothing.

    ‘Rob Scott told us that JS did not travel to Singapore because of the problem of the Vaal track.He told us that this showed concern and a change in thinking. Funny that I did not see him at the Vaal on the most important day which was when the track was inspected. We have been complaining about the Vaal track for ages. Phumelela has closed its eyes to the problems. Most of us believe that Clyde Basel who is no horticulturist yet a one time arborist at Kenilworth has made a crucial mistake in postponing the Grand heritage and the consolation races to 13/10/18. Try and remember this comment. I look forward to the excuses being made when the time comes. Clyde Basel and Lyle Anderson did not walk the entire course. They walked around and looked at the last few hundred meters. Hopefully JS will stand up and apologize for the poor actions and decisions of his

  2. Ian Jayes says:

    Phumelela’s selling of Gosforth Park, Newmarket and Bloemfontein, its arrogant refusal to do a proper job of resurfacing the Vaal sand and subsequently closing it, is what has brought about the present disastrous situation. What a ship of fools. That those responsible did and still are being paid obscene amounts of money each month beggars all understanding.

  3. Jay August says:

    What exactly were the challenges faced at the Vaal? I’ve heard and seen lots of posing but very little actual facts.

  4. beatle says:

    Clyde Basel couldn’t plant a mushroom – the whole Heritage Day is now a joke – the race of 28 horses made the race – not another 14 horse field running at another racecourse, how boring . We at the Vaal knew that the course would not be ready by the 13/10/2018 – but I remember somebody by the name of Clyde Basel saying to the public and the sponsors of the Heritage Cup – we just missed it by a week – if I was sponsors I would withdraw sponsorship and hold Phumelela for all cost for not been able to provide the sponsor on what he has agreed upon – poor show Phumelela

  5. Space Invader says:

    My weather app says there is 100% chance of rain throughout the day on Saturday at Turffontein. The meeting has not been moved to Sunday which is a clear day. Where is the forethought? Aha I have worked it out, Phumelela have not staged a race meeting at Durbanville for this Saturday so we have a stand alone meeting. Thumbs down.

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