Kenilworth shows Eskom how to do maintenance | The Citizen

Anyone who has seen the Kenilworth racecourse grandstand of late will know the new bosses at Cape Racing means business. The towering structure has been enveloped in scaffolding as it gets a long-overdue makeover.

Strangely, racegoers to Kenilworth for Saturday’s Cape Classic race meeting might not notice much new. That’s because a lot of the work has been maintenance – a foreign concept in South Africa north of the Grape Curtain but apparently a necessary evil to keep the lights on.

Also, new Cape Racing boss Greg Bortz has been damping down expectations.

“Most things will be completely indiscernible to the public, but were nonetheless critical fixes,” he told Sporting Post this week.

“There were some really massive projects, included repairing the entire roof of the grandstand and next-door buildings, which were all leaking terribly. We have changed most of the windows, which were housed in broken frames and a future potential health hazard.” Upgrading broken escalators was a massive job.

“We have painted the entire building, installed perimeter fencing and overhauled all the bathrooms. The carpets were replaced and we have redone the floors throughout the building. Then there are the staff break areas, as well as a new jockey’s room.”

Some of the maze of scaffolding has been taken down for Saturday’s meeting and will be rerigged afterwards.

This week, Bortz took over the chairmanship of Kenilworth Racing from Brad Ralph, who has held the fort while new investment and leadership has kick-started a rejuvenation of racing in Western Cape.

In a press release, Bortz said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Brad over the past few months. His calm demeanour, comprehensive knowledge and love of racing are just some of the reasons why KR was able to survive the last few years, despite the most challenging of environments. KR as a whole, and myself personally, look forward to maintaining our deep ties and friendship with Brad.”

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