¡ THE Brisbane Racing Club on Wednesday convened a meeting with key stakeholders, including track developers Evergreen, in a bid to find out why Eagle Farmfs new surface continues to underperform.
gThe way the track raced on Monday was clearly not acceptable,h BRC chairman Neville Bell said. gIn November and December the track seemed to be going very well but in February and March it has gone the other way.
gWe thought the only way forward was to have a meeting with all the experts.
gItfs fair to say itfs not one single thing. Itfs a lot to do with the immaturity of the turf, the extreme weather conditions and the amount of racing we are doing on it.
gFlemington gets two months off after Stakes day. Caulfield gets two months after the Caulfield Cup. Our racing model up here doesnft allow that sort of break.ff
Bell said Wednesdayfs meeting convinced him and the board the track could live up to expectations in the future, but gtherefs no quick fix to thisff.
gThe experts say the way it was planted, itfs going to be two years before itfs a mature plant,h he said. gWe just have to try and balance producing a good racing surface with growing the grass to maturity.ff
Oh dear...no end in sight relying on their current team of experts seems a futile exercise if that's what they advise now why weren't the told this in the beginning.
I hadn't come across this little gem of a story before.
A bit of food for thought if I may - The Kikuyu turf has now been down for well over 12 months, suggesting it's immature is laughable. Anyone with it growing in their back yard knows it grows like a weed with a bit of sun and water, even easier when it's grown on a sand based profile.
All the major stadiums in the country are a form of a sand based profile, while they don't have Kikuyu on them, can anyone point out the last time they saw a puddle on Suncorp, ANZ, Hunter Stadium, Penrith, Parramatta before they pulled it down, Gosford etc etc.
The key feature to all this is infiltration & percolation rates, if anyone wants to bore themselves, look up the USGA specs for golf greens and recommended percolation rates, whilst not a total comparison due to height of turf etc it does give you an insight into what sort of drainage is expected from sand based profiles.
Naturally over time (years) these will slow down due to organic matter build up etc but one has to ask -How has a sand based race track become a bog in less than 12 months time? Why? How?