Job Done: Developing the track at York Racecourse

Project Racecourse track development
Client York Racecourse
Contractor J Mallinson (Ormskirk) and Arden Lea Irrigation
Cost £2.5m

York Racecourse has been given a £2.5m overhaul to improve the quality of the racing surface.

The entire course was installed with a new drainage system, planned by Preston-based Professional Sportsturf Design.

Main contractor J Mallinson (Ormskirk) worked with irrigation contractor Arden Lea to carry out the work, which began in January 2008 and incorporated excavated sand slits, a new network of pop-up sprinklers and newly constructed south bend extension.

In order to restore cover to the track quickly and effectively, head groundsman Adrian Kay selected Barenbrug's rapid turf repair mixture, BAR 50 SOS.

"We usually use a perennial ryegrass, but this doesn't achieve such good results during the cooler months," explained Kay. "So I decided to give BAR 50 SOS a try on a few areas of track after hearing good things about it from within the industry."

Kay's chief concern was achieving establishment that could withstand the rigours of racing in time for the course's first race meeting in May.

"When the weather is not ideal, getting the right establishment is the most important thing," he said.

In autumn this year, the final phase of the project will see the completion of some minor earthworks to marry in the levels on the new extended south bend and the existing racing surface.


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