Just Looking

TRENTHAM TRACK

33 posts in this topic

32 minutes ago, Just Looking said:

16.5 mm of rain fell overnight - 40 mm  total in last 10 days and what is Trentham track rated - YEP - Heavy 11

will stay that way until October now 

 

Premier venue - Pfft 

Probably still irrigating!

You can't tell me all the water they have poured on in the last 6 months has no effect on the track in winter.

I bet the car park or the inner course figure 8 is a dead 4

You reap what you sow.

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It’s all a bit tragic at the WRC, just one gradual slide into oblivion over the last 30-40 years.

That club is probably a good example of why our top end clubs need centralised coordinated asset management, by the best professionals, and raceday input from those with genuine hands on experience.

Wellington as a club is full of good intent, but sadly such a waste.

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Speaking of mismanagement, what is the latest with their former Treasurer John Fokerd since he has been suspended as an accountant while he is investigated for misappropriation of trust funds over several years?

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, bloke said:

Speaking of mismanagement, what is the latest with their former Treasurer John Fokerd since he has been suspended as an accountant while he is investigated for misappropriation of trust funds over several years?

 

 

 

Wasn’t he on The Members Council ?

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why the rail out 10 metres? haven't raced there since the oaks.

3 or 4 races there horses going to be sitting on the ballot because they cant get a run...

running 14 horse fields instead of 18

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It's the lay of the track at Trentham.    It's incredibly rocky not too far down and drainage has always been an issue.  In summer the inside is fantastic as it holds moisture, in rainy seasons it holds too much.  It can be mastered but it needs different treatment over the track, the outside is a different make up to the inside, but that isn't how the track management operates now.   Track Managers used to live on the track, the house was there, I know I used to get up at 3am to move or turn off sprinklers, they lived and breathed the champagne turf, they knew it, but that is just not the case these days.      It is an old river bed, its difficult and it behaves like one :) but it can also be a fantastic racing surface.

 

 

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Have seen chases there when horses were running up to their hocks in mud, then it bounced back to the brilliance of the Good Lord and Grey Way performances. So what stuffed it? Was it the introduction of irrigation or just general mismanagement?

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On 4/30/2019 at 10:56 AM, poundforpound said:

It’s all a bit tragic at the WRC, just one gradual slide into oblivion over the last 30-40 years.

That club is probably a good example of why our top end clubs need centralised coordinated asset management, by the best professionals, and raceday input from those with genuine hands on experience.

Wellington as a club is full of good intent, but sadly such a waste.

Yeah lack of innovation and thinking what worked decades ago will still work today, which is not the case. 

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3 hours ago, Baz (NZ) said:

Turf Managers...we don't have any!
Its a qualification!

I don’t think you can blame the track managers.....they can only work with what they’re given and what’s below the grass at Trentham is clearly rubber ducked......

I’d be looking at who’s been on that committee over the years and why there’s been no re-investment in key assets ....and the track itself....my guess, and it’s only a hunch, but the more accountants and lawyers you have involved in racing clubs the more hopeless they invariably are.....

For some strange reason accountants and lawyers ( the two most boring professions ever ) seem to think they know what’s best for the “real” racing folk and their horses when clearly the opposite is the case.

You don’t see that type running NZ Rugby, or cricket, or the breweries for that matter...God only knows why they’ve been allowed to hijack the racing industry ......they’re good for only two things, painting fucking running rails & and telling you where to park raceday ( and they unusually fuck the latter up too ).....

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So NZ tracks get double the av yearly rainfall.

How crazy.....just so they can have a D4 rating in summer 

So unless it's a sand based track its a bog in winter....just so crazy

So 50% of the time (when there's extra moisture they race off the rail to less irrigated parts of the track) and degrade the product.

Irrigate Jan and Feb only

Wanganui was a joke today racing off rail (some cutting the corner, some around the world)

Marlborough   fantastic rail great both days

 

 

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10 hours ago, poundforpound said:

......they’re good for only two things, painting fucking running rails & and telling you where to park raceday ( and they unusually fuck the latter up too ).....

the focker wouldn't know which end of a paintbrush to hold!

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It’s taken me a while to put this tome together. It’s part experience, part observation and part opinion.

Those farming in the Auckland or northern Waikato areas in the 50s and 60s may have come across Agronomist and farm advisor Ralph du Faur, from Papakura. My Dad sought his advice in the late 50s and though I was only about 12 years old at the time I have always remembered something he told me, have noted it over the years and found it to be particularly relevant to the state of our racetracks today. He said this: “Irrigated water comes from a well, a dam, a pond or a reservoir where it generally sits open to the sun then is pumped through a maze of pipes and sprayed onto pasture. Because of this, along the way it has lost its oxidisation and is “dead.” He likened it to flat beer. Lifeless. Sure, it keeps soil damp or moist but comparatively, the oxygen in rainfall keeps soil aerated. Debra Moss shared an historical pic recently on Facebook relating to Aussie farmers that read “despite all of our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Never was this more true here.

A Racecafe post said “40 mm total in last 10 days and what is Trentham track rated - YEP - Heavy 11.” That should not be possible. In old parlance, tracks up until Easter should be somewhere between hard and fast, and easy. Those who instigated the current grading system were unaware that in rating tracks “dead” that’s exactly what they are – dead, lifeless.

 Fill your watering can and pour it on your driveway from as high as you can. It spreads in a mass then runs down the drain. Then watch what happens when it rains. The raindrops bounce because they are oxygenated and it’s this that keeps our soils aerated. Yes, we pour water on our gardens too but in spring we turn them over by spade or fork and open the soil up which realistically can’t happen to a race track. Many farmers irrigate their crops but in the process of grass to maize then back to grass, the ground is cultivated thus allowing nature to do its bit.

Trentham was the “Champagne Turf.” It was bubbling and full of life, big crowds, big fields, best horses, fastest times. No false rails, no ‘how is the track “playing” b/s and, no irrigation and a postponed or canned meeting as rare as hen’s teeth. If it pissed with rain the track simply got deeper but racing went on and Trentham, for one, recovered to be the Champagne Turf it was always reputed to be – until irrigation. . No chance of record times on soft tracks which are now standard in summer racing. All of that is now assigned to history and for those who complain about hard summer tracks, no more horses went sore or broke down 50 years ago than do today and back then though there were fewer races, horses generally had more starts, a number of two year olds having 8, 10, 12 starts or more.

Average NZ rainfall is around 50-odd inches (say 1200 mls). I would ascertain that irrigated tracks might get ten or twenty times this amount of ‘dead’ water poured on them. The sub-soil then becomes like a three-layer sponge where the chef has forgotten to add baking soda. Its like a bloody big layer of sodden blotting paper. Even sand-slitting has minimal effect when the sub-soil is like plasticine.

Not being critical but do track managers ever ask themselves “Why are we irrigating? What is it we are trying to achieve?”

As I said at the beginning, these are years of observations, generalisations and some opinion. I don’t have an answer but I would, first and foremost, stack the irrigator into the back of the shed and leave it there. I would then investigate the infusion of grass species suited to purpose of racing and in light of climatic conditions in different areas. This could even be a factor when setting racing dates too. It’s no secret that those who set the racing dates have little or no comprehension of any of these factors.

 It has taken man thirty to forty years to bugger up our racing surfaces.(a stronger term may be more appropriate).  Mother nature can fix most things so I would let her do her thing bearing in mind it may take another 30-40 years for the situation to right itself, God willing that the industry can survive for that long.

 

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10 hours ago, Blue said:

It’s taken me a while to put this tome together. It’s part experience, part observation and part opinion.

Those farming in the Auckland or northern Waikato areas in the 50s and 60s may have come across Agronomist and farm advisor Ralph du Faur, from Papakura. My Dad sought his advice in the late 50s and though I was only about 12 years old at the time I have always remembered something he told me, have noted it over the years and found it to be particularly relevant to the state of our racetracks today. He said this: “Irrigated water comes from a well, a dam, a pond or a reservoir where it generally sits open to the sun then is pumped through a maze of pipes and sprayed onto pasture. Because of this, along the way it has lost its oxidisation and is “dead.” He likened it to flat beer. Lifeless. Sure, it keeps soil damp or moist but comparatively, the oxygen in rainfall keeps soil aerated. Debra Moss shared an historical pic recently on Facebook relating to Aussie farmers that read “despite all of our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Never was this more true here.

A Racecafe post said “40 mm total in last 10 days and what is Trentham track rated - YEP - Heavy 11.” That should not be possible. In old parlance, tracks up until Easter should be somewhere between hard and fast, and easy. Those who instigated the current grading system were unaware that in rating tracks “dead” that’s exactly what they are – dead, lifeless.

 Fill your watering can and pour it on your driveway from as high as you can. It spreads in a mass then runs down the drain. Then watch what happens when it rains. The raindrops bounce because they are oxygenated and it’s this that keeps our soils aerated. Yes, we pour water on our gardens too but in spring we turn them over by spade or fork and open the soil up which realistically can’t happen to a race track. Many farmers irrigate their crops but in the process of grass to maize then back to grass, the ground is cultivated thus allowing nature to do its bit.

Trentham was the “Champagne Turf.” It was bubbling and full of life, big crowds, big fields, best horses, fastest times. No false rails, no ‘how is the track “playing” b/s and, no irrigation and a postponed or canned meeting as rare as hen’s teeth. If it pissed with rain the track simply got deeper but racing went on and Trentham, for one, recovered to be the Champagne Turf it was always reputed to be – until irrigation. . No chance of record times on soft tracks which are now standard in summer racing. All of that is now assigned to history and for those who complain about hard summer tracks, no more horses went sore or broke down 50 years ago than do today and back then though there were fewer races, horses generally had more starts, a number of two year olds having 8, 10, 12 starts or more.

Average NZ rainfall is around 50-odd inches (say 1200 mls). I would ascertain that irrigated tracks might get ten or twenty times this amount of ‘dead’ water poured on them. The sub-soil then becomes like a three-layer sponge where the chef has forgotten to add baking soda. Its like a bloody big layer of sodden blotting paper. Even sand-slitting has minimal effect when the sub-soil is like plasticine.

Not being critical but do track managers ever ask themselves “Why are we irrigating? What is it we are trying to achieve?”

As I said at the beginning, these are years of observations, generalisations and some opinion. I don’t have an answer but I would, first and foremost, stack the irrigator into the back of the shed and leave it there. I would then investigate the infusion of grass species suited to purpose of racing and in light of climatic conditions in different areas. This could even be a factor when setting racing dates too. It’s no secret that those who set the racing dates have little or no comprehension of any of these factors.

 It has taken man thirty to forty years to bugger up our racing surfaces.(a stronger term may be more appropriate).  Mother nature can fix most things so I would let her do her thing bearing in mind it may take another 30-40 years for the situation to right itself, God willing that the industry can survive for that long.

 

Best Post Ever! :wub:

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Fantastic Post BLUE , I have been preaching this in posts for years , I always quote a Michael {Pitman interview with Andre Neil he was asked what is the biggest problem in racing his reply was "the irrigation of tracks "  Look at the times they run at Woodville yesterday on a unirrigated dead track, 1.09 and 1.10 for 1200mtres

 Irrigated tracks are so shifty because they have no deep vertical root structure at all, they have horizontal root system about 2 inches deep so the top inch or 2 just scoops out or shifts , you have got to wonder how hard some horses try when they feel the ground shift under them? 

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I would argue that it is not the irrigation per se that is the problem. It is a) the way it is applied; b) the amounts that it is applied in; and c) that as Blue noted de-oxygenated water is used. All these have a negative effect on soil and root structure. Other jurisdictions manage to use irrigation to good effect on racecourses without the latter results.

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39 minutes ago, Leggy said:

I would argue that it is not the irrigation per se that is the problem. It is a) the way it is applied; b) the amounts that it is applied in; and c) that as Blue noted de-oxygenated water is used. All these have a negative effect on soil and root structure. Other jurisdictions manage to use irrigation to good effect on racecourses without the latter results.

I certainly don't know any of the soil science Leggy and am happy to admit parts of my tome may be a little simplistic and some generalisation but I think it's basically correct as far as it goes. If, as you say " Other jurisdictions manage to use irrigation to good effect on racecourses without the latter results, " what are our guys doing wrong that means we can't ever race on a fast track in summer and a couple of inches of natural rainfall results in abandonments?

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