Down the strait: Jockies and mounts undertake trackwork on Ballarat Turf Club’s new all-weather synthetic racing surface. Photo: CHIPPY RIVERA

Synthetic track ready for real racing

May 15, 2019 BY

WORK on Ballarat Turf Club’s all-weather synthetic racing surface is complete and the track has already been pressed into service.

Heavy rain made the turf course unusable on Sunday and Club management were able to save the Mother’s Day race meeting by swapping to the poly-track.

“It was a lot more rushed than we anticipated but given the circumstances with 69mm of rain on Thursday night and Friday morning, and we’d had 117mm of rain since the start of the previous week, we would have lost the racing meeting,” said BTC CEO Lachlan McKenzie.

Following successful recent gallops and jump out trails, as well as the Mother Day races, Mr McKenzie said the racing fraternity were positive about the poly-surface.

“We had excellent feedback back from all the jockeys and trainers. There’s no issues with any part of the track. Horses seemed to be able to win from any spot, there’s no bias or paten.”

After an 18-month process, Mr McKenzie said seeing the new surface being used was, “A great feeling

“To see it all come together and race so well was all very rewarding and a great sense of achievement given the amount of work and investment that’s gone into building the track,” he said.

With two options now available to the club for race meetings, it means the turf track will be used less, extending its quality, especially over the winter months.

“From a racing perspective it’s reassuring knowing that for the upcoming winter, and winters to come, we’re guaranteed to be able to race,” Mr McKenzie said.

“From a training perspective, it’s a huge boon for our club to be able to include a new track that 16m wide and is a forgiving, all weather surface that’s another great assets for our training centre and I’m sure will result in more horses and more winners coming from Ballarat.

Ballarat Turf Club’s new synthetic track will get its official launch on Friday, 17 May with the Porter Plant Cup Day.