There aren’t many tracks in NSW or Australia for that matter that could handle 220mls of rain in the few days prior to a meeting and still be racing, but for the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, that has been their preparation for today’s meeting.
In fact, the track could be one of, if not the best wet-weather track in NSW, and Sapphire Coast Turf Club Manager, Rob Tweedie, said if given enough time, his surface could recover from any amount of rain.
“We will always race if we get 24 hours to drain and dry,” Tweedie said.
“It doesn’t matter if we get half a metre of rain, if we get that time for the rain to drain, we will race.”
Expert design is the reason the club will race today on a heavy 9 Tweedie explained.
“The track is elevated and water drains through sub surface drainage, then there is a ring of drainage around the track and all the water leads to the dam in the middle,” Tweedie said.
“There is a release trap for everything to go through to the water way after that, so the water always had somewhere to go.
“Our ability to race definitely comes back to the design.”
Tweedie even suggested the more rain the better, with the surface able to drain the water once fully soaked.
“What I find here, if we have three or four days of rain, it actually drains better than if we have a thunderstorm or one day of rain.” Tweedie said.
“After enough rain, the water works its way through the profile.”
The club galloped a horse on the course proper his morning, making sure they were ready for an eight-race-program.
“We will also gallop a horse on the course proper at 7am tomorrow (Friday) morning to make a final assessment, but I am confident we would race,” Tweedie explained on Thursday afternoon.
The track manager was on the money, with Racing NSW stewards giving the tick of approval this morning, and Tweedie said an extra-thick grass covering meant the surface would hold up to the rigours of wet-weather racing.
“The track handles it well, especially in summer because of the thickness and coverage of the grass here,” Tweedie said.
“It binds together so well and holds together when it’s a heavy track. Obviously, times will be slower, and horses will be working harder, and they will work into profile, but there isn’t as much kick back.”
In what is a testament to Tweedie and his team at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, the track handles year-round racing, with 12 meetings held each year.
For punters and racing fans who have been searching for good country racing action after all the recent abandonments, the meeting jumps at 1.30pm today.