Vaal: NHA Flexes Muscle

Representatives of the NHA will attend gallops on Tuesday morning


National Horseracing AuthorityThe National Horseracing Authority confirms that an investigation was held at its offices on Friday 22 May 2015, into the current condition of the Vaal Sand Track. In particular, the meeting held on 12 February 2015, which was moved after the running of Race 1 from the sand track to the grass track and the abandonment of the meeting held at the Vaal Racecourse on Thursday 21 May 2015 after the running of Race 2.

The background:

After the running of Race 2, a delegation of Jockeys and the Course Veterinary Surgeon expressed their concerns regarding the sand track which was reported to be inconsistent.

A panel comprising Jockeys, Stipendiary Stewards, the Course Veterinary Surgeon, the Track Manager and the Phumelela Racemeeting Manager carried out a track inspection.  Thereafter the Jockeys lodged a protest into the condition of the track being inconsistent and unsafe for racing.  A panel was formed in terms of National Horseracing Authority Rule 5.2.3.  After hearing the evidence of all concerned, the panel was of the unanimous opinion that the track was inconsistent and posed a danger to  both horse and rider and it was decided that Races 3 – 8 should be abandoned.

The Executive and Senior Management of Phumelela’s Racing Operations Department who manage the Vaal sand track were present and conceded that the track had been over watered for yesterday’s racemeeting and this had led to the inconsistency of the track and ultimately resulted in the racemeeting being abandoned.  Similarly the 10mm of rain which fell prior to the running of the racemeeting of 12 February had the same effect.

They advised that immediate action had been taken to rectify the current problems experienced with this track.

They explained that a disk plough would be used on this track on Friday 22 May and this would allow for a more thorough mix of the sand before being re-compacted and prepared for racing.  They were confident that the corrective measures taken would allow for the Vaal sand meeting scheduled for Tuesday 26 May to go ahead as planned.

Representatives of the NHA will attend gallops on Tuesday morning 26 May 2015 to ensure that the track is suitable for racing.

Going forward, the use of the disk plough would take place on a regular basis with the intention of keeping the sand more consistent for racing purposes.

Furthermore, Mr Patrick Davis advised the Board that Phumelela would be issuing a press release with regards to their own investigation into the Vaal sand track and this would outline in more detail what actions would be taken.

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