Last October Arena Leisure, owners of Lingfield racecourse, announced that they would completely renew the Polytrack surface within 12 months. Yesterday they confirmed they would act on that promise, with work scheduled to start early next month, and finish in time for the start of the new all weather season in November. While the work goes on, Lingfield’s scheduled all weather fixtures will be run on the turf.
For some time now jockeys have complained about excessive kickback on the track, particularly when the weather is mild. Welcoming the decision, Richard Hughes said, “It is about time the surface was replaced and I’m pleased they are going with Polytrack again because it is a very good surface, provided it is well maintained. It was getting a bit on the quick side and the kickback was getting pretty bad; the rubber was coming to the top and it was quite sore.”
The delay in setting a date for the replacement of the surface came about because Arena has had 11 different types of surface to consider. In the end, Arena racing director and Ian Renton and clerk of the course Neil MacKenzie Ross settled on a like for like replacement.
That decision received a thumbs up from trainer Gary Moore, who runs around 100 horses a year at the course. Moore said, “Neil MacKenzie Ross is a top man who knows what he’s doing. If Polytrack is good enough for him it’s good enough for me. He showed me five different types of all weather surfaces, and I’m sure they haven’t gone for Polytrack on cost grounds.”
Renton confirmed that as he set out the reasons for replacing what was the first Polytrack course when it was put down at Lingfield in 2001. He said that Lingfield had been “very impressed with the surface from the point of view of horse welfare, maintenance and longevity, it was naturally given serious consideration for replacement. Polytrack remains the preferred surface of racing professionals and we are confident that the new surface will provide the quality of track that once again ensures that Lingfield Park remains at the forefront of artificial surfaces.”