Spring Return For The Big D

Contingency plans in place

Good progress has been made with the resurfacing of Durbanville racecourse and, weather permitting, hopes are high that racing will resume there in September and October when there are 11 meetings scheduled.

Dean Diedericks

Dean Diedericks – weather the key

“Our original plans were to commence racing a lot sooner at the country course,” reported manager Dean Diedericks today. “But unfortunately weather conditions have forced us to play safe with respect to the track surface knitting properly – as we need to ensure the success of the new surface complying to international standards and we will take every precaution to achieve this.

“The track has been reshaped and all the topsoil has been replaced. We are at the moment incorporating into the top layer special organic material to stimulate grass growth and we have installed a specially-designed irrigation system.

“Obviously much depends on the weather over the winter, and in turn on the recovery of the track after the work we have done on it, but we are hopeful. We will, however, make contingency plans to accommodate the September and October meetings at Kenilworth should that prove necessary.”

Grass Gallops

The course at Durbanville has for many years suffered from the ridge-and-furrow nature of the surface, hence the decision to eliminate this by taking up the top layers and evening out the ground. Some of the bends have long been considered too sharp for thoroughbreds at top speed and steps have also been taken to make these more gradual.

The course is also used for gallops and so plays an important part in the training of horses at the Milnerton and Philippi training centres. “We have upped the percentage of gallops at Kenilworth while the resurfacing work has been going on and we will reopen Durbanville for gallops before racing resumes there,” said Diedericks.

-Phumelela Press Release

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