When the bright lights were turned off following the last race on Summer Cup Day and the multiple carnival rides were moved off the Turffontein tracks, the Racing Ops Team worked tirelessly through the night to get the racing tracks back in mint condition.
Trainers work horses at the crack of dawn and to ensure this happened successfully, the Racing Ops Team was spearheaded by Track Manager Kenneth Mathebula.
“The training tracks are operational 365 days a year,” said Mathebula.
“Knowing that trainers would want to work their horses in the morning, our team decided to take on the challenge and bring the track back to its very best condition before they (trainers) made it to the course in the morning.
“Not only did we want the tracks to be presentable, we wanted them to be safe enough for both horse and jockey to work on.”
The training centre is basically used as in-field parking on the day are there are also bridges built across the track which are used to access the course by the public.
“The truth is the tracks take a bit of damage because of this,” admitted Mathebula.
After waiting for the public to leave the racecourse, his team removed all the machinery on the tracks and also walked the entire course in an effort to ensure there was no litter on the surface.
Once that was done, the divots repair team played their part – filling in the grass.
“All this was only completed at about 2am,” added Mathebula. “We then put together a team that pumped water out of the dam to water the tracks.
“I am very proud of our team because by the time Gary Alexander (trainer) arrived to work his horses at 5.30am we had already successfully completed our task. I think even he was impressed with how quick we got the job done.”
Mathebula made sure to let known that this was a team effort.