The final race at the Vaal on Thursday was abandoned following a jockeys’ protest.
A protest by jockeys was lodged after the running of Race 8 at the Vaal on Thursday 8 August regarding the safety of the Vaal track. A panel was formed comprising the Stipendiary Stewards, NHA vets, trainers, jockeys, Phumelela representatives and track management.
The two jockey representatives highlighted that it was a unanimous decision by all the riders not to continue racing.
After opinions put forward by the senior NHA veterinary surgeon, trainers and Phumelela management, it was decided Race 9 should be abandoned.
According to the stipes report, after the running of Race 4 jockey Ryan Munger, in his personal capacity, raised concerns about the safety of the track. He was of the opinion it was inconsistent and horses were faltering. In view of this he requested to be allowed to stand down for the remainder of his rides.
Permission was granted in terms of Rule 55.2.
After the running of Race 5 similar concerns were raised by jockey Marco van Rensburg who also requested to be allowed to stand down for the remainder of his rides and again permission was granted.
Following the running of Race 6 a third jockey complained about the condition of the track and made himself unavailable to ride.
This resulted in a track inspection carried out by the Stipendiary Stewards, vets, jockeys a trainer and the Phumelela duty manager.
It was agreed, notwithstanding the prevailing arid winter conditions, and having taken into account the divots had been satisfactorily repaired, the track was safe to continue racing.