A rash of recent injuries has brought track preparation back onto the agenda writes Floyd Amphlett. Not only do opinions vary as to the scale of the problem – bearing in mind the traditional ‘summer injury season’ – but also the correct methodology for producing a greyhound track in pristine condition.
Kinsley’s John Curran has produced a video showing not only the process for assessing the firmness of a track, using a measuring trowel, but also the step by step routine as used at his track.
Curran’s video demonstrates the ‘weekly routine’ which includes the harrowing of the surface to break down the ‘pan’ (the hard crust that forms after repeated watering and plating), followed by the tyre packing, plating and watering. This involves the adding of 10,000 gallons of water, spread between preparation day, and race day.
It is a long labour intensive process and with some tracks racing six days per week, it is perhaps unsurprising that owners and trainers fear that short cuts might be taken. Remember, this is the complete once-a-week process, which for timing reasons alone, could not take place between every single trial or race meeting. The end result of the process however, should not change.
Curran’s video concludes with a demonstration on what he believes is the ideal consistency of sand to produce the perfect racing surface and will hopefully takes some of the mystery out of the entire process for any interested owners and trainers.