A hole at the 1750 meter mark in the Vaal on Tuesday could have endangered the lives of horse and rider as three races were run over the area. However, the situation seems to have had a positive impact, as Phumelela now carries out checks at every race interval.
While we cannot understand why the National Horseracing Authority did not take note of the discovery of the hole in the official Stipes report and clarified the reasons for the omission, Patrick Davis, executive of Phumelela Racing, has assured stakeholders that all sections of the track to be checked.
“The problem was only visible on the surface when this area collapsed. We believed it was caused by some form of underground pest activity. Accordingly, we have hired pest control specialists to assess the area and resolve the issue urgently. In the meantime, we’ve moved the March 16 meeting from the Vaal classic to the main course to give us enough time to sort out the problem. We want to give everyone involved the reassurance they need that the route is safe for horse and rider, ”said Davis.
He later confirmed in an update that research showed that a termite nest had been built under one of the underground drainage pipes, causing the gravel around the pipe to collapse and ultimately cause the soil to sink.
“This was not visible from the surface until it collapsed from below. The good news is that we did a thorough inspection of the entire track and this is the only problem area we are dealing with, ”he said.
Davis said this is a different problem than the one caused by meerkats two weeks ago – on that occasion, the track was apparently checked as usual before the race and the visible meerkat damage was repaired.
“While races 1 through 4 were in the front straight, the meerkats must have come back and re-dug the area in the back straight that we repaired earlier. Based on this experience, we are now checking all areas of the track between the individual races to prevent repetition. “