HERE is some comment on last weekend’s closing down of Clairwood Racecourse in Durban taken from Karel en Kiki Miedema’s superb Sporting Post (www.sportingpost.co.za) – one of those rare editorial pieces deserving of the accolade, “we couldn’t have said it better…”
Another one down and only nine racecourses to go. Over nine decades of South African horseracing history and tradition were consigned to the scrapheap of history as the gates slammed shut on the Garden Course, Clairwood, on Saturday evening.
There was melodrama too as the sun set.
Smiling-or was it embarassed- racing officials and a few personalities turned up after the last race and grinned as a duet, PC black and white naturally, sang Sarah Brightman and Andreas Bocelli’s moving hit, Time To Say Goodbye, with fireworks in the background.
It probably makes no good sense getting too emotional and jumping to conclusions and bashing individuals about Clairwood’s demise.
The sale was obviously a well intended business decision based on a rescue and refurbishment programme for Gold Circle’s other facilities in the province.
Greyville already has the polytrack – thank goodness. We hear money is being thrown at Summerveld.
The deal became attractive and justifiable to them for a host of reasons, but also when the positioning of the new harbour considerably increased the value of the Clairwood land.
The R430 million is in the bank and exactly how the present custodians invest it will determine whether this was a wise and shrewd move or just a desperate act of delaying the inevitable and yet another plastering over of old wounds and filling holes.
History will pass the final judgement.
And while it isn’t as simple as A, B, C, if you are the superstitious type, the alphabet soup doesn’t augur too well for Durbanville.
Amongst others in our recent living memory, we have closed Arlington, Bloemfontein and now Clairwood.
The Big D of Durbanville sort of slots in sweetly.