Horses were replaced with diggers straight after Auckland Cup Week 2018 here at Ellerslie Racecourse as work commenced on our planned track upgrade.
The project, completed at the end of May, was designed with the purpose of improving the drainage on the track as a whole, allowing our track manager greater control of the surface in the "trickier" months here at Ellerslie Racecourse.
Working with the Ag & Turf team, we laid lateral drains every five metres around the circumference of the track to help direct the flow of water away from the track.
In addition, they ensured that the track would have a robust, working collector drain. This was especially important as the collector drain is designed to collect water from our newly-created lateral drains and subsequently takes the water off the course.
To ensure water is moved from the top of the surface to the nova flow pipes as soon as possible, the pipes were covered by a layer of metal aggregate and a layer of drainage-tested sand.
With the mild Autumn we have experienced, grass growth has been excellent - especially in the home straight where it is now almost impossible to see where the drains were laid.
The project was completed on time with all drains covered and seeded with new grass by the end of May.
We now look forward to seeing some good grass growth across the remainder of the track before we start testing the track with horses galloping over it in early/mid-September.