|Greyville racecourse is the home of the Vodacom Durban July. Learn more about the layout and history of the track here.|
Greyville is a pear-shaped, right handed track with a circumference of 2800metres, an average width of 19 metres and a short run-in of about 400 metres. The construction of two subways on the course in 1929 resulted in an uphill section from the 2400m post up to the 1800m position. Thereafter, there is a gentle downward slope for about 800m followed by an uphill section from the 1000 metre mark into the straight. This all makes for a very testing ride.
Horses racing handy frequently do well at Greyville and many a front-runner has stolen a march on the opposition, especially when there is a strong south westerly tailwind. Horses, which come from off the pace, do well at Greyville, but the ability to quicken is essential in such cases. Inside
draws are generally favoured over most distances up to 1900m, but more so over 1600m as the start is affected right on the bend.
The effort of overcoming a wide draw can be negated to some extent by the position of the false rail which enables the field to fan out on entering the straight, thereby obtaining a clear run to the winning post.
In 1996, Greyville made history when it became the first track in the country to have floodlights, enabling the course to accommodate night racing up to a distance of 2000m.
Without question though, Greyville has claimed its fame for the idyllic setting of the Durban July and all that goes with it - the crowds, the betting pools, the fashion and the R4.25 million finish.
The Greyville Polytrack is a right-handed course on the inside of the turf track. The circumference of the track is 2000m and the width is 14.6m. It has the same short run-in of about 400m like the turf course and all races are run around the turn. The track is one of two pPolytracks in South Africa, the other being at Fairview Racecourse in Port Elizabeth.
Judging by the results at Fairview, turf form has generally held up well on this surface. However, there have been horses that have rejuvenated their careers when racing on the Polytrack, for example, Untamed and White House in Port Elizabeth. So there is still plenty of hope for some of the battling sorts in KZN.
Races will start at exactly the same place as they do on the turf track (1000m, 1200m, 1400m, 1600m, 1800m). The draw factor is likely to be the same as the turf course and inside draws could play an important role.
The polytrack provides a consistent surface on which horses can perform to their maximum ability. It is made from polypropylene fibres, recycled rubber and silica sand. All components are weighed, mixed and thoroughly coated with wax. Most importantly, the polytrack is an all-weather surface that will virtually eliminate the abandonment of races and enable more race meetings to be added to the fixture list in the region, if and when desired. It will add a totally different dynamic to KZN racing and it is sure to be very exciting.
The track is configured to allow for a maximum field of 12 runners but following the trials on Tuesday, 3 June 2014, the jockeys have suggested that the field size should be limited to 10 runners in the initial stages over distances from 1000m to 1600m and 11 runners for distances beyond 1600m. The first official meeting staged on the polytrack took place on 11 June 2014.