In September 2014 Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) commenced work on the racing surface at Great Yarmouth Racecourse by levelling the home straight. Today ARC can confirm that considerable progress has been made ahead of the planned recommencement of racing this summer.
ARC’s £300,000 investment will ensure Great Yarmouth Racecourse has a first class racing surface for years to come, including one of the best straight turf mile courses in this country.
The decision to level and resurface the track was taken in conjunction with the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”) after ridges developed over a number of years and with the desire to provide the best possible racing surface. Great Yarmouth is a very popular turf track for many leading trainers, based in Newmarket and locally, who enjoy racing their highly rated young horses at the track.
The track improvements were carried out in conjunction with Professional Sportsturf Design and the BHA. The work fell into three stages: the first stage saw the removal of the topsoil, followed by a re-grade of the subsoil to give a level base and then finally the replacement of the topsoil and re-seeding of a new grass cover.
In recent weeks the grass cover in the home straight has developed very well. The sward has thickened and root depth improved which will ensure the track will have an excellent racing surface in future years.
ARC continues to work closely with the contractors carrying out the work and the BHA whose team of course inspectors have been informed of progress throughout and have visited to review the progress at the track.
ARC and the team at Great Yarmouth will continue to keep horsemen and racegoers updated. The aim is still very much on racing recommencing on 23 July but is subject to the continuing improvement of the racing surface and passing a BHA inspection, which includes a trial gallop. We look forward to inviting local trainers to bring horses to work on the track to establish if the track is safe and ready for racing. However, if the track requires further time to develop then suitable arrangements will be made as the safety of the horses and jockeys, and the long term condition of the racing surface, must take precedence.
Jon Pullin, ARC’s Racing Operations Director, said: “We have always said we are committed to ensuring each of our racecourses provides the best possible conditions for horses to race on, be that a synthetic racing surface or turf. While we are keen to recommence racing at Great Yarmouth we can only do so when we are confident that the racing surface is absolutely safe for horses and jockeys and will withstand the remainder of the 2015 programme. We appreciate horsemen’s and racegoers’ patience in this situation and will keep everyone updated as necessary.”
Nicky Carlisle, BHA Inspector of Courses, said: “It is good that ARC has invested a large sum of money to improve the racing surface at Great Yarmouth which will be of benefit to the racecourse in the coming years. The sward in the home straight is currently looking good and improving all the time. I will be visiting the track again in the near future along with the agronomist to assess the sward and will hopefully be able to say when the first day of racing can take place.”
Glenn Tubby, Great Yarmouth Executive Director, said: “The team at Great Yarmouth is really looking forward to racing recommencing this summer. We appreciate it is not ideal that a definite date cannot be confirmed at this stage but we will endeavor to keep horsemen, racegoers, annual members and sponsors updated as much as we can. As the picture of the track show the racecourse is looking fantastic and I know we have many great years of racing ahead of us.”
Anyone wishing to contact Great Yarmouth Racecourse to request further details or make a booking should call 01493 842527 or visit www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk.