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Phumelela Respond To Vaal False Rail Unhappiness

'No false rails in Australia'

Phumelela have plans for alterations to two of the tightest racing surfaces on the Highveld.

This was the word from PGL Racing Executive Patrick Davis in response to a Sporting Post report of unhappiness from trainers and jockeys after Tuesday’s Vaal meeting went off without a false rail.

Phumelela Racing Exec Patrick Davis (pic: hamishNIVENPhotography)

There were numerous incidents of traffic issues recorded in the official stipes report.

In response, Davis pointed out that false rails are used for two main purposes.

“To help fan the field out for fairer racing, and, more importantly, to spread the wear on the turf surface – so we have always from time to time raced at zero – which means no false rail. This however only happens once every 5 or 6 weeks. Why would we not utilize this fresh ground to ensure the best possible surface for the horses?”

He went on to confirm that Phumelela were looking at installing a permanent 2m spur on the TRC inside track during its next spring treatment at the end of the year – as part of a bigger project to widen the bend to the inside.

“Similarly we are looking at this for the Vaal classic track – widening the bend to the inside too. This should significantly help the situation at the two ‘tightest’ racing surfaces on the Highveld,” he said.

He added that it is probably worth pointing out that many major racing jurisdictions – Australia springs most readily to mind – have even shorter run ins at some of their tracks – and this without the use of false rails at all.

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9 comments on “Phumelela Respond To Vaal False Rail Unhappiness

  1. Paul says:

    The reference, by Mr Davis, to “more importantly” is telling: so the track preservation is of more importance to PGL than fairer racing? (and safety: a better racing surface is laudable but surely outweighed by real potential of danger to horse AND rider posed by checking, switching, easing, etc).

    As for certain overseas courses not using false rails, I assume that is permanent (and riders get used to and adapt). Here, that is not so. As with the whip issue, the issue is (at least in part) the deviation from usual practice (without proper time to adapt).

  2. Brian says:

    Sir! If I wanted anything to do with Australia I would be living there. I am not. I Iive in South Africa.

    I couldn’t give an SH one t what happens in Australia

    You cost punters money and your excuses are feeble.

    Your apology is deafening . That’s what you needed to do instead of the rubbish you further insulted punters with

  3. Anthony says:

    Patrick it’s not only the trainer’s and jockeys but the punters as well, with the owners and punters being the life of the game with out them you would not have a job .

  4. The Dark Duke says:

    Taken from a Sporting Post article after the Vaal Sand closed.

    The best long-term solution is to replace the sand with turf and once the new turf track is proven as a racing surface, the way will then be open to replace the existing inside turf surface at Turffontein with a synthetic surface like Polytrack. Such a surface will solve winter going issues on the Highveld and lessen the pressure on the turf tracks and the number of race meetings lost to rain,” said Phumelela Racing Executive Patrick Davis recently.

    Can we believe anything from Phumelela?

  5. Adrian says:

    The ability and reputation of Patrick Davis are beyond reproach. If you compared his CV with any other person in management and on the Phumelela board, he is the most accomplished administrator in horse racing. He wants the best for SA horse racing. He is no different to any of us. Unfortunately, his hands are tied by hierarchy and limited resources. The best thing that Phumelela did was to bring him back. He is not a spin doctor like his predecessors. He knows what is needed unlike his predecessors. He tells it as he sees it within the limits of his employment contract, which is understandable. Not one trainer can comment that Patrick is unavailable. He makes time for everyone. He tries to resolve all problems. The merger of Phumelela and Gold Circle is making fast headway and Patrick will end up being a true asset to the whole of horse racing. He needs support not armchair criticism.

  6. Steve Reid says:

    Adrian I agree with you 100%, Patrick is a fantastic man who has done nothing but assist whenever I needed information and nobody else at Phumelela would assist,

  7. Brian says:

    Maybe a fantastic man, but the issue remains a cock up.

    An apology was more in order than a reference to Australia

  8. Brendon says:

    Eish, Brian

    Cut the brother some slack. He’s trying – and maybe his application is in with the Australian authorities.

    But seriously, is Patrick Davis accident prone every time he speaks or acts? This is a 2nd PR disaster in less than a month, littered with his name.

    The management team of Phumelela appear to be very strong minded about the abilities and capabilities. Or are they just delusional? In the past two decades, Phumelela has projected themselves as old boys club and reaffirming that they are all cut from the same cloth by recycling the same faces in different positions in the said period.

    The share price of PGL is a good reflection of how well PGL’s directors, executives and management are as the custodians and administrators of this sport. In my opinion, none of these individuals, including Mr. Davis deserves any praises for “trying” and “responding to stakeholders”. Who get paid a massive salary for “trying” and “responding to stakeholders”. Mr. Davis is paid a salary to create value and contribute to the sustainability of the sport – to which early indications on his scorecard is not a pretty sight.

    Maybe, Mr. Davis can consult the Snaith boys, yet again, who may throw him a second lifeline and hopefully Johathan Snaith will take away the spade that is attached to Mr. Davis hands.

  9. Francois says:

    What Mr Davis don’t understand is the fact that the Aussies never had a false rail so they know how to ride without, as for SA we alway had a false rail and I have gone to the Stewards on numerous occasions and pointed out the DANGERS in SA for not having a false rail. A lot of our Jockeys in SA don’t know how to ride without a false rail thus putting everybody at risk…….for example. If a Jockey who doesn’t get many chances suddenly cracks a decent ride finds himself stuck on the rail in the last 500m and has no where to go cause there is NO false rail. He will panic and look for a run. I mean he has a horse with a chance to Win. So what will he do next…….And thats when u get your TRAFFIC problems…….

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