Despite being snowed under with orders for new hare systems and traps, Gavin & Tom Smith are working on a revolutionary hurdle design which they hope will make them affordable for more tracks.

Tom said: “I have been working on designs which will use modern materials including fabrics, to make them cheaper and more reliable. We have had the spec from GBGB, and now its just a case of sourcing some of the materials. I hope to have prices very shortly.”

In the meantime, the Smiths, who recently installed a whole new ‘Swaffham hare’ system at Harlow without the track losing a meeting, are looking to replace the Towcester standard and sprint boxes.

Gavin said: “We are installing what I call the ‘American-style’ traps, they are keen to get them in before the Derby starts – though they are not for the 500 metre distance. The 480s will go in first, which I will be fitting in between installing a new hare system at Central Park. I will then go back and do the sprint boxes. At this stage, there are no plans for new traps for the 500 metre course, at least not before the Derby.

“The new traps are the same as they have at the two Ladbrokes and two Coral tracks, and something very similar, just slightly adapted, from what they use at Henlow. In my opinion, they are quieter, smoother and generally better than the old types.”