The Kenilworth Racing team unveiled the new-look Durbanville racecourse on Monday, 28 August 2017.
The refurbishment works, which got under way in November 2016, included lifting the entire turf surface, increasing the cross fall of
the far bend, effecting a change to the turn into the straight to adjust the angle of the home straight to the finish, and extending the pull up
The eagerly awaited unveiling saw a large turnout of Cape racing personalities to see the new course put to the test. A total of 6 horses were put through their paces, being sent out in sets of two.
The general consensus was that the track looked good and jockeys Bernard Fayd’herbe, Richard Fourie, Grant van Niekerk, Aldo Domeyer and Anthony Andrews were all happy with the improved cross fall, wider turn and wider straight. Feedback from the riders was that the track underfoot conditions were firm, but consistent. The riders also reported a huge improvement to the camber on the turn into the home straight, saying it rode very easily.
The track management team kept an anxious eye on the turf and closer inspection showed that while the new grass has started settling, the colder temperatures have limited growth and the root bed is not as established as they had hoped.
A brief consultation between the Kenilworth Racing team and the local trainers and jockeys was held and in the interests of allowing the grass some additional time to knit, it was decided to defer the first meeting at Durbanville and by two weeks.
The scheduled fixtures will be moved to Kenilworth and it is hoped to open the new track with the Settler’s Trophy meeting on 23 September. – Sporting Post.