The all-weather tracks are used to proving their worth in winter and keeping the show on the road when all else is lost to snow and ice. Prolonged dry spells during summer time is another opportunity for synthetic tracks to come into their own.
Recent statistics comparing field sizes on all-weather and turf tracks between Sat 29th June to Sat 27th July which has been unusually dry show average runners on the AW tracks are 10.3 to average runners on the turf at 7.8.
Last week, Bath, Brighton, Great Yarmouth and Sandown all reopened races at the entry stage due to lack of entries. During the same week, Lingfield Park, which runs both all-weather and turf racing at this time of year, staged an eight race all-weather card on Wednesday 24th July and attracted 91 declarations. Trainers supporting the card included, Andrew Balding, Ed Dunlop, John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute, Charlie Hills and Saeed Bin Suroor. Wolverhampton has raced with near maximum fields throughout the recent heat wave and Kempton Park had similar success on their Polytrack.
Jim Allen, Director of Racing for ARC said, “The all-weather tracks are used to proving their worth in winter and keeping the show on the road when all else is lost to snow and ice. Similarly, hot dry spells during summer time is another opportunity for synthetic tracks as the statistics show, highlighting the value of a reliable, consistent & cushioned racing surface 12 months of the year”
Trainer Andrew Balding commented, “It is very difficult to find good consistent ground on any turf course during prolonged dry spells. Watering is hard to get right at this time of year and forecasts can be unpredictable. To have more opportunities on the Polytrack surfaces in very dry periods would be welcomed by most trainers. It would be useful if fixtures could be swapped from firm ground to the Polytrack courses during dry spells as can happen in winter when the turf is frozen”.