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SAf Authorities Offer Punters Olive Branch
In "an act of goodwill" after the controversy surrounding race 6 at Clairwood last Sunday where the odds-on favourite was deemed to have been a starter despite the gate opening after the field had jumped, goldcircle.co.za reports, "[controlling bodies] Gold Circle & Phumelela have carried over the gross win pool from the race onto the Easter Handicap at Clairwood on March 31. Issued subsequent to the meeting abandonment when favourite punters vented their spleens, Gold Circle's press release notes: "A stipulation added to Rule 188.8.131.52, that many feared would 'come and bite us one day', was fundamental to Sunday's fiasco. However, there was more to it than that, and the age and state of the starting stalls as well as the starter and the procedures at the start have also been put under scrutiny. Racecourse security also came into question, as besides the ugly scenes outside the weighing room, a dog appeared on the course during this race, of all races, and ran behind the horses." Clairwood's starting gates are acknowledged as being old, however while Gold Circle has ordered new gates, these are unsuitable for Clairwood which will soon be defunct, leaving just Greyville (also in Durban) and Scottsville (in Pietermaritzburg around 50km west of Durban) as racetracks in KwaZulu-Natal.