Developer buys Clairwood racecourse

South African racing authority Gold Circle has sold Clairwood racecourse.

Capital Property Fund has acquired the course for R430 million (AUD 52.24 million).  The new owner focuses on industrial and commercial projects and is one of the largest property funds in South Arica.

The racecourse will be leased back to Gold Circle for the next two years before the development commences.

Clairwood opened in 1921 and is situated in Durban’s southern suburbs.  At one time it was also known as Hollis Park and is one of three racecourses in KwaZulu-Natal.  Greyville is in Durban’s city centre while Scottsville is 60kms from the coast at Pietermaritzburg.

Clairwood is located on prime land next to the harbour and industrial area.  The sale is dependent on a successful re-zoning application and an environmental impact assessment.  Local ratepayers and environmental groups have signalled they will strongly oppose the sale.

Gold Circle chairman Robert Mauvis said operating three racecourses was no longer financially viable.  “It’s very expensive maintaining a racecourse,” he said this week.  “We will restructure the business and focus on two tracks.”

Clairwood’s demise follows the closure of the Newmarket and Gosforth Park racecourses in Johannesburg.