ARC has undertaken a programme of track improvements across a number of its racecourses, at a total investment of over £500,000.
ARC has committed to initiate work to level the home straight at Great Yarmouth over the course of the winter. To minimise disruption to the racing calendar the course will close after the Eastern Festival in September and it is planned it will re-open in June 2015. After a review by Professional Sportsturf Design, and in consultation with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the work will see the topsoil removed, a re-grade of the subsoil to give a level base and then replacement of the topsoil.
In addition, seven of the Group’s racecourses are having improvements made to their drainage systems to ensure the courses remain in optimal condition. These are Chepstow, Fontwell, Sedgefield, Worcester, Southwell’s turf track and Newcastle’s National Hunt track, which will all see work completed this year, and Uttoxeter which had work completed last year. In addition, at Southwell ARC is in the process of investigating options to alleviate flooding in future years to avoid disruption to racing.
The drainage works across the Group will consist of a combination of the installation of land drains and sand slitting above existing drainage. These works can all be completed without disrupting the existing racing calendar.
All the works have been carried out in consultation with, and have approval of, the BHA.
The drainage works are being funded in part with short-term loans from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (‘Levy Board’) which will be paid back by summer 2018. The project at Great Yarmouth is a stand-alone six-figure investment by ARC.
Jim Allen, ARC Racing Director, said: “We have a diverse range of courses within the Group and we are committed to ensuring each one provides the best possible conditions for horses to race on. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Levy Board and the BHA to undertake a programme of significant investment and look forward to years of successful and competitive racing at our courses.”