There’s an extra variable to take into account over the next month or so when betting at Kempton Park. Since the last meeting on 11 July work has been ongoing to the track, designed to reduce kickback on the Polytrack surface.
Trainer Hans Adielsson brought two of his horses to test the new ground, with jockeys Fergus Sweeney and Nicole Nordblad riding them round the track. Barney Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton, and Richard Linley, the British Horseracing Authority chief inspector of courses were watching on.
Their collective view was that the track would benefit from the 844 tonnes of new Polytrack material, but it would take a few weeks to bed down. As much as anything this is because the new material has a slightly different combination of fibre and wax, and it will need horses running over it to fully mix it in.
As a result, they expect the track to ride a little slower than standard, and this is represented in the advance going indicator of Standard/Slow for the meeting on Monday when the track re-opens.
Fergus Sweeney was happy with the work, saying, “It rode perfectly, just marginally slower than standard, but I’m very happy with the surface. It looks good.”
Clifford explained what the work meant for the racing surface. He told the Racing Post, “This is effectively a new track now because the top 75mm on the racing lines and ten metres of the home straight has this new mix blended into it, so it will probably take three to four weeks to settle down. I’m afraid it will ride on the slow side of standard for the next few weeks. In the short term we will have some kickback but the long-term objective is to increase the longevity of the track.”