The Romford racing circuit, the Hove restaurant and a new approach to injury data.

Larbrokes Coral Stadium director Ian Smyth made a series of pledges shortly after his appointment and the early ones are about to be delivered.

Imminent at Romford is the most significant upgrade to the racing surface in many year, if not ever.

Budgeted at well over £300,000 the entire circuit is basically being ripped out. A new drainage system, inside fence and 11,000 tons of sand will be in place when the track re-opens on Saturday September 15 after five days of solid graft.

Smyth said: “We have two new operations managers on secondment at Hove and Romford, namely Brian Murphy and Carol McMillen.

“That has given me a little more time to get a few idea in motion and concentrate on things other than the ‘day to day’

“The marquee is going up next week and should be in place for the final of the Coral Champion Stakes. You will also see the scaffolding going up on the Millennium Stand.

“Work is just starting on the Hove restaurant. It will mean a new ceiling, new lights and TV, and some work near the glassed area. We are also doing some changing around in the kitchens. About the only thing that won’t be changing is the furniture.

“We are doing it in two halves and it should be finished by the first quarter of next year. Why has only half the restaurant been used? Let’s get it right and look at ways of filling it.

“Having taken feedback from the owners, I can confirm that a section of it will be sectioned off exclusively for them.

“I don’t have the final figures in front of me, it has already been signed off, but the total spend runs into several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“We know that things have been left to slide a bit at the Corals tracks, but I am conscious that if you just concentrate on them, then the others end up in a similar position.

“So I am going around all the tracks and compiling a list of what needs doing and then prioritising different projects. For example, I am not happy with the Crayford kennels, which are not of the calibre of the other three tracks.

“I can’t promise that we will be in a position to do anything immediately, but they are on the list.”

Smyth is currently formulating a new system for analysing injuries at the four tracks under his control and plans to roll it out within the next six weeks.

He said: “We have always monitored injuries but the data just wasn’t detailed enough.

“For example, we had a very unfortunate incident in a race this week at Crayford where two dogs were badly hurt at the last bend. One dog simply cut straight across and ran into the other one.

“Now that is a very different issue to injuries that occur at the first bend. I want to know what type of injuries are occurring and where they are occurring. Which injuries are bad luck and which ones can we hopefully do something about?

“Do some trainers have more injuries than others, or similar types of injury? How do the injuries vary from track to track? Is age a factor?

“How can you expect to get to the bottom of any potential problem if you don’t have that level of information?