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Installation of Polytrack surface on Acton Track showing tremendous promise

The Canberra Racing Club is proud to announce that the installation of a Polytrack surface on the Acton Track was successfully completed early last month. Since then, over 700 horses have galloped on the all-weather surface with an official trial and five sets of jump outs providing great tests ahead of the Club’s first race meeting on Friday, 23rd June.

The successful completion of the new Acton Track represents a key pillar of the Canberra Racing Club’s long-term strategy for Thoroughbred Park.

With equine & human welfare fundamental to the Club, this significant investment will ensure the safest surface possible for training and racing purposes, especially during Winter and in inclement weather.

The surety of new Acton Track will also allow a renovation of the Course Proper after a number of consecutive racing seasons without a break. This will allow Racecourse Manager Adam Ayre and his team to have the Course Proper in great condition ahead of a revitalized Spring at Thoroughbred Park.

The new Polytrack surface has received positive feedback from participants including Group One winning Jockey James Innes Jnr, who has ridden in each of the sets of jump outs on the new Acton Track to date, and said “The Club has got the grooming of the new surface down pat and the past few weeks in particular, I’ve been very satisfied”.

“Now that it’s settled, there also seems to be no bias. I’ve ridden a number of horses in these jump outs who’ve been able to settle at the rear before coming around them to finish over the top.”

Veteran Canberra Trainer Keith Dryden said, “It’s a great cushioned surface that is beautifully even.”

“It’s already a great training surface but pleasingly, from a racing point of view, we’ve had horses make up great ground from the back to win jump outs.”

“It’s a vast improvement and I’m looking forward to racing our horses on it.”

The Acton Track season will feature five race meetings between June and September, culminating in Synthetic Season Grand Final Day on Friday, 1 September. Grand Final Day will feature the $35,000 Polytrack Stayers Cup (1900m) and the Sprinters Cup (1206m). Both Cups will be run as Benchmark 70 contests.

In support of synthetic racing, Canberra Racing Club will strive to be a world-leader in all-weather track data with a new partnership with Racing and Sports to provide a repertoire of meaningful data to be available to industry participants and the punting public alike from Friday, 23 June.

As well as a Racing and Sports-produced synthetic form pointers preview, other key pieces of data will be made available on race morning for all Acton Track meetings. The following pieces of key data will be readily available to help better inform interested parties.

  • Clegg Hammer reading – the Clegg Hammer is a tool used to determine shock absorption. The higher the Clegg Hammer reading, the firmer the surface. An average reading will be published.
  • Moisture reading (%) – this is the moisture content of the track surface material. An average % will be published.
  • Track temperature – this is the temperature of the track surface material. An average temperature will be published.

For reference, the readings obtained prior to the official barrier trial conducted on Friday 19th May 2023 are below;

  • Clegg Hammer: 8.71
  • Moisture: 18.9%
  • Track temperature: 20°C

Track data will be released through the Canberra Racing Club’s Twitter account (@ThoroughbredPK) on all Acton Track race days from Friday, 23 June.