DURBAN – Further to the media release issued by Gold Circle on 31 January 2012 relating to the cancellation of the Clairwood race meeting on 26 January, the directors have received a full report on the findings of an independent investigation committee (the committee), comprising Advocate Guy Hoffman SC (nominated by the National Horseracing Authority (NHA)) and David Furness (nominated by Gold Circle).
The committee has drawn the conclusion that the decision to cancel the race meeting was procedurally correct and conformed to the requirements of rule 5.2.3 of the Rules and Regulations of the NHA. It was however noted that there was divided opinion amongst those persons interviewed as to whether the race meeting should have been allowed to continue.
The report indicated that there were procedural and operational deficiencies that had resulted in the deterioration of the Clairwood Racecourse over a number of months which led to the unfortunate circumstances of having to cancel the race meeting. As a result of these issues Gold Circle has implemented several remedial strategies which will ensure that racing at Clairwood will not be impeded in the future. An internal disciplinary process against affected personnel is to be progressed.
Highlighted in the report was concern expressed by several interviewees regarding the future closure of the Clairwood Racecourse due to the proposed sale of the property. This has created insecurity amongst tenants and personnel as well as commentary that infrastructure essentials were not being implemented. Notwithstanding the proposed sale, Gold Circle records that it will continue to invest in all necessary infrastructures that ensure that the Clairwood Racecourse provides the facilities expected of a racing and training centre.
Gold Circle is in the process of finalising strategic plans which will ensure that racing in the province will not be materially affected by the future closure of Clairwood Racecourse through its two year transitional phase, the commissioning of a new racing surface at Greyville and provision for additional stabling and infrastructure at the Summerveld Training Centre. – Gold Circle.