The Australian Turf Club’s new all-weather Polytrack training surface at Royal Randwick has been widely praised by trainers, and completes construction of all-weather synthetic training surfaces at all four Australian Turf Club racecourses.
The $6.2 million track – measuring 13.5 wide around an almost 2000m circuit – is expected to reduce the number of horses barrier trialing each week in Sydney, which will lead to a decrease in owners costs.
The track also provides an alternative and consistent training surface during all types of weather 12 months a year, particularly during winter and wetter periods.
Leading Randwick trainer John O’Shea said the Polytrack would greatly benefit horses, owners and trainers.
“Randwick has always been a very good training centre but now it is by far and away the best training centre in Australia,” O’Shea said.
“It has now got a top-of-the-range artificial surface that allows horses to work in any type of weather, and importantly more safely.
“This also gives us an opportunity to work horses appropriately without having to trial on a regular basis which is a win-win for owners.
“With the Polytrack you have the best and most safe surface to ensure your horses remain sound.”
Fellow Royal Randwick trainer Mark Newnham, who also rides trackwork on the new surface, said: “Horses are comfortable from their first gallop, they take very even strides, and they are not getting unbalanced and fatiguing on it which can cause injuries.
“We will be able to have jump outs on it and condition the horses the way we want without extra expense to the owners.”
A video interviews with leading trainers John O’Shea and Mark Newnham are available here, along with Australian Turf Club General Manager of Projects Callum Brown and Royal Randwick racecourse manager Nevesh Ramdhani.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing Services & Membership James Heddo said work would soon commence on an upgrade of the Royal Randwick sand training track.
“I want to thank and congratulate our General Manager of projects Callum and also Nevesh and his team on this very successful addition to Royal Randwick’s training facilities,” Mr Heddo said.
“Sydney’s four racecourses each now have synthetic surfaces as an option to training and galloping horses on the turf.”