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Friday, 25 August 2017 06:53

Durbanville track to be tested


Durbanville Racecourse has been closed for the past 10 months due to resurfacing and will be tested this Monday, August 28…

Monday is D-Day for Durbanville when the racecourse will be used for the first time since it was closed for resurfacing ten months ago.

General manager Dean Diedricks said: “We are going to put horses on the track and see if the jockeys are happy with the surface. If they, and everybody else, are satisfied then we will race there on September 9.

“I am pretty confident that we will be fine but it’s a case of being safe rather than sorry – and if people are not happy with it then we are going to be in crisis management.”

Durbanville is scheduled to stage ten meetings inside six weeks and “crisis management” would mean a devil’s alternative between no racing and stretching Kenilworth beyond its limits – and probably a combination of the two. The situation is further aggravated by the drought.

Diedricks wants to keep Kenilworth for the summer season and said: “We are under pressure from a weather perspective and I am really concerned for the summer when shortage of water is going to be a real test.”

The Kenilworth dam used for watering the course is in a better position than most dams in the Cape Town area but the level is way below normal.

However Durbanville now finds itself in the fortunate position of having surplus grass as it was decided to buy in turf rather than put back the old sod after the ridge and furrow beneath it had been levelled out. In addition a grass nursery was set up on the inside of the racecourse.

Diedricks said: “Nothing has yet been decided about what we will do with this nursery grass, whether we build a grass gallop at Philippi or extend the grass track at Milnerton.”

Apparently, though, the original plan to extend the Milnerton grass gallop into an oval is likely to be dropped because of the restrictions imposed by the conservation area.


By Michael Clower


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