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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Tuesday, July 18 2017

Auckland Racing Club has today announced plans to undertake a drainage upgrade on its racetrack in 2018.

The upgrade, which will commence following Auckland Cup Week in March next year, will be undertaken by successful tenderer, Ag and Turf.

Auckland Racing Club chairman Mr Paul Kenny says the decision to commence this project has been made with the long-term interests of the industry in mind and is an exciting development for the Club.

“We are proud of today’s announcement and pleased to have the opportunity to increase our long-standing commitment to the industry by making the decision to further improve our racing infrastructure.

“Investing in our ability to deliver a future-focused, world class product has been a priority for the Club over recent years, as has making racing at Ellerslie better, safer and more attractive for participants.”

The announcement comes after the Club received feedback on potential areas for improvement with regards to the current racing surface, and follows extensive consultation with experienced and expert personnel.

“In order for us to maintain our position as the country’s leading racetrack, it is important we listen to participants on ways in which we can do business better,” says Kenny.

“The majority of feedback received was that our track currently holds too much water, and so we naturally wanted to look into ways in which that could be improved.  As a result, a feasibility study into both a full track redevelopment and drainage upgrade was conducted.

“The outcome of that process was that upgrading our track’s drainage, so that we can offer a more consistent racing surface, was determined as being the best option.  While other options such as a full track renovation might appear to be the ‘superior’ choice, we all know it does not guarantee a perfect outcome and we are confident we have found the best solution for the issue at hand.”

The upgrade, which will include the implementation of new lateral drains every 5 metres across the full width of the course proper for the entire circumference, will see the track close down for racing for a period, with race meetings normally held during that time transferred to alternative venues for that interval only.

“Obviously with this work being undertaken we will need to cease racing from the commencement date until what we hope will be sometime in spring 2018, by when we anticipate it will be ready for testing.

Kenny goes on to say that, “We cannot stress enough that this timeframe is an indication only.  The Club is committed to getting positive results from its investments and it is critical the track has time to recover, and the correct testing regime is successful, before racing resumes.

“That said, we have every confidence in our project management and Ag and Turf to deliver the desired outcome in a reasonable timeframe so that we will be back racing at Ellerslie for the 2018 summer of racing.

“We strongly appreciate the support and understanding of every sponsor, member and industry participant with regards to this project, and hope they share our view that this will enhance our racing product, helping ensure its reputation is protected in the years to come,” he concludes.

Upgrading Ellerslie’s racetrack drainage is the latest in a series of investments by the Club over the past four years.  It joins the introduction of an outside plastic rail in the home straight, an upgraded track irrigation system, new starting gates, stakes increases, major facilities upgrade and a new indicator board.

Posted by: AT 02:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email