New Polytrack open at Caulfield
08 Feb 2013 | Caulfield-based trainers now have access to Australia’s first Polytrack after the Melbourne Racing Club announced the opening of its new $2.8 million training surface on Friday.
A synthetic surface containing particles each molecularly bonded within a wax coating, the track affords trainers at Caulfield the ability to work horses on a climate-tolerant surface that mimics turf, courtesy of its unique root structure and vertical drainage system.
Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) Chairman, Mike Symons, lauded the new facility as an example of the Club’s aspiration to industry-leading practices and a commitment to its Caulfield home.
“The MRC is committed to continuing to provide the best training facilities for our trainers based at Caulfield and Mornington,” Mr Symons said.
“A thorough, global exploration of obtaining the right surface was led by (MRC General Manager of Racecourses) Jason Kerr, upon which the Polytrack was the obvious solution.
“Polytrack differs greatly from the synthetic tracks previously laid in Australia through its composition and drainage system, making it the first actual climate-tolerant, turf-mimicking surface.
“Accordingly, we’re thrilled to be able to provide a home the first of its kind in the country.”
Martin Collins, inventor and supplier of Polytrack® said, “We are delighted to be working with the Melbourne Racing Club at Caulfield in the latest development of their fabulous training facilities.
“Although this is the first Polytrack to be installed in Australia, we have over 30 years’ experience in the synthetic surface industry and have used every bit of this experience in producing a suitable training surface which is consistent, safe and sympathetic to the working racehorse.
“We look forward to a long working relationship with the team at Caulfield as part of our ongoing commitment to the Australian racing industry.”
The Caulfield Polytrack® installation
• 17,000m2 of track – the equivalent of 65 tennis courts – has been refurbished;
• 4100 tonnes of New Generation Polytrack® has been manufactured on site;
• Some components of the track travelled over 9150 nautical miles, or 17,000km, for the refurbishment;
• It took all of ten days for the surface to be moved by two trucks from the Caulfield Racecourse Guineas Car Park to the track;
• The surface will be maintained using a specially designed machine called the Gallop Master.
Polytrack® around the world:
• Polytrack® has been installed on 17 racetracks (course proper) across the globe;
• Polytrack® sites include Kranji (Singapore), Newmarket (UK), Chantilly (France), Keeneland (USA), Randjiesfontein (South Africa), Hong Kong, Woodbine (Canada) and Istanbul (Turkey) among others;
• Polytrack® surfaces can be found on over 210km of training gallops throughout the world;
• The Polytrack® team are also in the process of constructing a new racecourse facility for Phumelela Gaming & Leisure at Fairview, Port Elizabeth (South Africa).