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ACTON (SYNTHETIC) TRACK INFORMATION 

Update

On 26 May 2017 Winter Season racing recommenced on the Acton Track. Racing had not been conducted on the track since August 2013.

In October 2016 a total replacement of the synthetic surface material was completed.  From October 2016 daily track work, except for Sunday, has been undertaken on the track and weekly organised jump outs from the starting barriers have been conducted.

In the lead up to the race meeting on 26 May 2017 an official barrier trial was conducted on 21 April 2017 and two on 10 May 2017 under the supervision of Racing NSW Stewards.  

Track Statistics    

  • Width 15 metres
  • Diameter 1587 metres
  • Home straight 380 metres
  • Cambered surface – 3% cross fall in the straight which transitions to a maximum of 5% on the turns.
  • Depth of synthetic material 150mm
  • Plastic running rail installed 2012

History

In November 2004 construction of the synthetic track at Thoroughbred Park Canberra was completed and the track opened for track work and barrier trials. The track was first used for racing at the Canberra Cup race meeting in October 2005 when the last two races on the program were transferred from the course proper to the Acton Track due to the state of the track following rain. 

On Friday 12 May 2006 the Club staged its first full race meeting on the Acton Track

The track was installed by Racing Victoria under the brand name Thorough Track as part of stage one of a two stage redevelopment of Thoroughbred Park.  The track was installed at a cost of $2.25 million.

The track replaced an existing sand track, which required realignment to ensure the suitability for conducting race meetings on the synthetic track.  Initial works involved the construction of the road base and drainage.  The base comprises of a solid crushed rock composition and includes two drainage lines around the circumference of the course.  To contain the synthetic surface both the inside and outside are bordered by concrete strips with the inside border having weep holes to allow the track to drain freely. 

The new surface installed in October 2016 was produced by the Canberra Racing Club within its own resources and manufactured to replicate the original surface installed in 2004.

Racing

As a racing surface the track has proven to be safe, bias free and provides consistent racing relative to form. The going is consistent with good range racing on a turf track.

Synthetic Material

The synthetic surface comprises a mix of sand, wax and fibre, which combine to form a surface that is consistent and at the same time provides a cushioning affect when horses work or race on the track.  The track is designed to perform at its best in the cooler temperatures experienced in Canberra in winter and for morning track work when temperatures are cooler.

All Weather Surface

The track has proven to be very popular with trainers for track work purposes in all temperatures and is used for this purpose 6-days per week.  In addition jump outs and barrier trials are held on this track regardless of the temperature and weather conditions.  From a track work point of view the track can definitely be considered as an all-weather surface.  From a racing point of view the track can be raced on in all weather conditions however as with any track in a heavy rain experience splash back could create vision issues for jockeys before the water drains away. In hot conditions the track may become softer and replication racing conditions similar to rained effected ratings on traditional turf tracks. 

Maintenance

The daily maintenance program includes application of a track groom using various implements, depending on what is required and rolling the track.

The track does not require any watering.  Originally it was thought water would sheet off the wax based track however it has been found the track does absorb moisture however this has not proved to be detrimental for track work or racing and does not create kick back of any significance and does not have the same effect as it does with traditional turf tracks. 

Betting

When regular race meetings commenced in 2006 there was reduction in betting turnover on the meetings, which gradually improved to a point where turnover was surpassing average winter turnover on the Canberra turf track.

 

UPDATED MAY 2017