Durbanville track undergoing major upgrade
The grass racing surface at Durbanville Racecourse in Cape Town is being totally refurbished in a major project that will bring significant benefits to horses and riders.
The project began in November and is expected to be completed by the end of March early April next year.
Stage one of the project involved lifting the existing grass and storing and maintaining it in a temporary nursery on site. Obviously, this allows to reuse the existing grass.
The earthworks then began with 80% of the topsoil removed and stockpiled by the end of November.
The principal aim of the refurbishment is to level the corrugations and undulations that have inevitably developed in the track down the years. This natural subsidence has been exacerbated by previous track managers using different top dressings, which has caused some parts of the track to subside more than others.
Simultaneously the bend from the back straight into the home straight has been redesigned and will be given a four percent camber with the winning post being pulled back slightly to provide a longer pull-up area.
“We took input from trainers and jockeys about the track and added that to our requirements and ideas in planning the project,” said course manager Dean Diedericks. “The bend has been redesigned which necessitated moving the main straight out. The winning post will move back fractionally to allow for a longer pull-up area but this will not compromise the commentator and camera angles.”
Diedericks added: "It is hoped that the upgrade will improve the field sizes and the quality of horses racing at the venue ultimately improving turnover".
The refurbishment also includes the installation of a conventional drainage system and a manual irrigation system. The contractors are working through the Festive Season in order to complete the refurbishment on time after which the grass will need time to knit before it is racing ready.
Kenilworth press release