THE race meetings programmed for the Vaal Classic track this Thursday 20 September and Thursday 27 September have been switched to the Turffontein Inside track.

The change in venue has necessitated changing the distance of Race 5 at this Thursday’s meeting from 2400m to 2600m.

Trainers with runners engaged for the meeting have until 15:00 Tuesday 18 September to withdraw runners on account of the change in racecourse.

The rapid grass growth normally triggered by the arrival of spring has been stunted at the Vaal this year by recent cold snaps coupled with a severe frost.

The net result is that, in spite of the best efforts of the track staff, there is excessive wear and tear in several sections of the Vaal Classic course, particularly on the turn.

This became evident at last Thursday’s meeting on the Classic surface, but after a track inspection the next day it was decided to leave the track for the weekend to see if the warmer weather could stimulate grass growth sufficiently for racing to take place at the course this Thursday if the false rail was moved to zero.

Track staff, in conjunction with trainers, jockeys and stipendiary stewards, held a full inspection of the track on Monday and it was then decided to switch the next two meetings on the surface to the Turffontein Inside track.

Jay Harrielall, Phumelela’s General Manager: Racing Operations, said: “The track inspection revealed that the wisest option was to move the meetings scheduled for the Classic track on 20 and 27 September to Turffontein. The grass growth is accelerating now, but to have raced there this week and the next would have set the track back for months.”

It should be noted that the three 2400m races programmed for 27 September will all be run over 2600m as a result of the venue change. – TAB News.

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