Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Caymanas Park set for sanding exercise

Published:Saturday | December 5, 2020 | 8:32 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jockey Oshane Nugent (left) gets medical attention after he fell from his horse, SIR ARJUN BABU (not in photo), near the far side of the track in the sixth race at Caymanas Park on Saturday, November 21. The track at the venue has been blamed for a number
Jockey Oshane Nugent (left) gets medical attention after he fell from his horse, SIR ARJUN BABU (not in photo), near the far side of the track in the sixth race at Caymanas Park on Saturday, November 21. The track at the venue has been blamed for a number of horses breaking down during exercise and horses falling during race day.
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Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Chairman Solomon Sharpe says sanding work will begin at Caymanas Park shortly.

The surface has been blamed in recent times for a number horses breaking down during exercise, or on race days. It has also been blamed for a series of spills involving jockeys on race day.

Sharpe told The Gleaner that sand for the track has been sourced, but the recent heavy rains have forced a delay in the delivery.

“We’re going to embark on a sanding exercise, but we have ordered all of the sand and some of the sand has come. But the protocol to put on the sand uses a special piece of equipment which has been secured,” he said.

“The only issue now is that the sand comes from St Elizabeth and, given all the rainfall, they have not been able to mine the sand because of that.

“However, they said the flooding has subsided. So, by the end of this week, they should be starting to pull it out and shipping it to us. So, in another eight-day period, we should be getting a delivery of another 30 loads.”

Sharpe says the surface has been graded three times in the past few months.

“The thing is that, when you speak to a lot of horsemen, they don’t fully understand how the sand must properly go on the track and how the track must be graded, and, over the years, some people have not done this thing properly and it has to be done properly,” he said.

United Racehorse Trainers Association senior executive member Lawrence Freemantle says this delights him.

“Supreme Ventures has started to do some work and I am very optimistic and feel good about the work that it has been doing to improve the track,” Freemantle said.

“I saw the sand because it is there, but I can’t confirm about the grading. So if the promoters say it has been done, then we just have to accept that.

“The track is a bit fast at the moment and the key thing is that the sand is there and it is just to be added.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com