A decade of planning and astute preparation came to fruition on an unusually warm Winter’s morning at Hawkesbury, with the first hoof prints embedded in the Polytrack training surface on Monday.
The eagerly anticipated first work was a simple test run for a dozen or so locally trained horses, but each single and steady lap represented a milestone beyond comparison for the team behind Hawkesbury’s synthetic masterpiece.
On hand to view the first work was Chief Executive Greg Rudolph, Martin Collins Australia managing director Reid Sanders, Hawkesbury track manager Jeff Haynes, Business manager Lea Porteous, and the track team. The group stood patiently as pairs of horses from neighbouring stables ambled around to “the gap”, where workers move efficiently on to each course each morning.
Brad Widdup, who has already made his own history with a remarkable breakthrough season of success from Platinum Park, took the honour of being the first trainer to work on the track, courtesy of Ajani.
And the verdict?
“Feels incredible,” said track rider, Wade.
The near silent movement of horses across the surface defies the natural soundtrack of a racehorse at canter, with only the chorus of breath to be heard as a horse passes.
“Being so quiet to gallop on, you can easily tell how your horse is breathing, which is really important,” said Wade after dismounting.
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