New Synthetic Race Surface Delivers For Canberra Racing

Jockeys and trainers are unanimous in their praise for Canberra’s new Acton synthetic racing surface.

The track was raced on for the first time at Friday’s meeting and Canberra Racing Club CEO Peter Stubbs says the feedback was “outstanding”.

It brought a sigh of relief for the club board and management after taking the decision to develop the track ‘in-house’ using wax and fibres imported from Germany and establishing the mixing plant and track laying maintenance machinery on-site.

“We were always confident that we would produce a quality surface,” Stubbs says.

“We undertook considerable research and while completing the project took a little longer than we anticipated the results have been well worth it.”

Stubbs says 34m of rain fell overnight on the Friday prior to the track's raceday debut clearing at 4:00am and the Acton provided a true racing surface for trackwork that morning.

Other than its all-weather capability, Stubbs says the track should have an infinite life given that the track materials and maintenance machinery are located at the racecourse.

The synthetic surface will be used for racing throughout the winter months providing better track ratings than the course proper and allowing time for it to be renovated in readiness for spring racing.

Stubbs says there are now 26 trainers in residence at Thoroughbred Park with 260 horses in work at any one time.

He believes this makes it the largest training centre between Warwick Farm in Sydney and Flemington in Melbourne, with four tracks being maintained on a daily basis.

At Friday’s meeting the Nick Olive and Keith Dryden-Scott Collings yards continued their ding dong battle for the ACT Trainers Premiership with two wins apiece.

Olive won the last two races with Lord Denman and Murrmaid, while Dryden-Collings scored earlier in the day with Crusader General and Star Aspiration.

Both stables sit atop of the premiership with 20 season wins followed by Matt Dale (13) who also trained a winner on Friday when Goldmine saluted in the Thomas Cup Maiden.

Olive is striking at 25% (80 runners), Dale 22% (59 runners) and Dryden Collings 18.3% (109 runners).

Matt Cahill (17) and Brendan Ward (15) are well ahead in the ACT Jockey Premiership with Cahill adding to his tally at Friday’s meeting with the win on Star Aspiration.

Canberra will race again on Friday 9 June.