Tasracing’s adoption of the innovative Tapeta track surface in 2011 continues to deliver benefits for Tasmanian racing.
The Tapeta synthetic surface has been in use for over three racing seasons and has provided a quality racing track with a number of advantages compared to conventional turf.
This winter, more racing is being run at Tapeta Park compared to 2013 following requests from industry partipants from around Tasmania to increase the number of race meetings at the venue.
Greater racing capacity compared to conventional turf
- The Tapeta Park track performs well in wet weather and means that training and racing at the venue can continue in very wet conditions.
- Tapeta Park doesn’t require the rest and recovery time of a conventional turf track, greatly increasing the capacity of the track to accommodate racing and training.
- The track has a consistent rating of Good 3, but performance varies slightly under different environmental conditions, such as ambient temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. Tasracing’s maintenance regime is aligned to reduce the environmental effects on the tracks performance.
- The track serves as an important ‘back-up’ venue in the event of another venue being unavailable for any reason.
Low injury rate
- Independent testing conducted at MIT in the USA assessed the surface and noted that horses racing on it experienced one half of the impact compared to running on a conventional grass or dirt track surface. You can read more about the study in this Turfmate article.
- During the 2012 and 2013 seasons the catastrophic breakdown rate at Tapeta Park was 1.08 per 1000 starts, which is well within prevailing industry standards.
- The US Jockey Club released five year statistics from the Equine Injury Database in March 2014 and commented:
“Overall, synthetic racing surfaces continued to be associated with significantly fewer fatal injuries than dirt and turf.”
Dr. Tim Parkin, Veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database who performed the analysis.
You can read more about the study in The US Jockey Club News Release.
Participation & Racing Patterns
- The track’s reliability and low injury rates have contributed to a steady increase in the average field sizes. From 2013 to 2014, year to date field sizes at Tapeta Park have increased from 9.5 to 9.88.
- Racing statistics indicate that there is negligible “home ground advantage” for horses trained at this venue. The strike rate (winners per 100 runners) is 14% for runners trained at Tapeta Park against 13% for runners (combined) at Longford, Brighton and Seven mile Beach.