Following a two month drought during January and February, the heavy rainfall which accompanied Cyclone Irina on 3rd and 4th March has played havoc with KwaZulu Natal racing fixtures this month.
“190mm was recorded at Greyville over those two days with even more falling at Clairwood,” said Gold Circle Racing Director Graeme Hawkins. “Since then we have had another 100mm up to and including last night and as a consequence the tracks have been unable to dry sufficiently to facilitate racing on a safe surface”, he added.
At 07:00 this morning the penetrometer reading at Greyville averaged 40 with the pull-up area recording highs of 46 and as a consequence the race meeting scheduled for tonight (which was postponed from yesterday) has been abandoned.
“No rain was forecast for last night and today, which made us hopeful we would get through tonight’s meeting, but Greyville did not escape the unexpected rain which also affected last night’s T20 cricket match at Kingsmead and we were left with no choice but to call off the meeting,” commented Hawkins.
And there does not appear to be any short-term respite. The forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday promises more rain and the prospects for racing over the weekend appear gloomy. Greyville is scheduled to host a night meeting tomorrow evening with Clairwood scheduled to race on Sunday.
Scottsville is closed to racing at the present time as the track has been plugged and fertilised in preparation for Champions Season and racing is scheduled to resume there on Sunday 25 March. Rain is also forecast for Pietermaritzburg this weekend.
“Building a synthetic track on the inside of the grass track at Greyville forms an integral part of our immediate future development plans which will be presented to members and stakeholders for approval in the near future and I look forward to the day when abandonments become a thing of the past,” concluded Hawkins.