Irrigation Wasn’t Reason For Fairview Switch

Juan Nel bags another feature winner

A downpour of 8mm of rain late on Thursday afternoon saw Friday’s Fairview meeting switched from turf to the polytrack, with Phumelela Eastern Cape General Manager Luciano Passerini rejecting irrigation of the track as a root cause.

The nine race meeting was switched due to unsafe underfoot conditions on the inside rail down the straight.

Passerini confirmed that the turf reflected a pen reading of 23 at around 15h00 on Thursday.

“A reading of 24 is good to soft. But the rain came a few hours later and changed the position dramatically,” he said.

Refuting suggestions that excessive irrigation was the reason for the surface switch decision, he explained that the Fairview turf had been irrigated on Saturday and Sunday last weekend.

“Then on Wednesday this week we fertilised and syringed down for five minutes. That was the sum total of it.”

He also added that heavy dew had been experienced at the course for the past week – a factor which could have contributed to the impact of the downpour.

One man who wasn’t exactly complaining was Juan Nel who saddled his second non black-type feature winner in a week when What A Winner finished with a dash to hold off Broadside to win the R80 000 Fairview Flying Five.

Louis Mxothwa and Charles Ndlovu go head to head as What A Winner beats Broadside in a thriller (Pic – Pauline Herman)

Under a superbly judged ride by Louis Mxothwa, What A Winner (5-1) held Broadside (5-1) at bay to win by a quarter length in a time of 56,25 secs.

The promising 3yo Stranger Danger (7-10) just tired late in third, with the pacy Big Bay (25-1) fading to fourth.

The Favour Stud-bred winner is a 2016 CTS March Yearling Sale graduate. Andre Louw paid R170 000 for the now 6yo seven-time winner from 41 starts.

A solid performer, What A Winner has amassed stakes of R566 075.

He is a son of Equus champion What A Winter of the three-time winning Eli’s Star mare, Bella Diva.

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