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Brick Hard Ground Fails to Stop Windsor Racecourse Renovation

Brick hard ground conditions due to exceptionally dry weather failed to stop annual renovation of Windsor Racecourse after the Saltex trade show.

Terrain Aeration’s David Green, who has been treating the crossing points on the track post the exhibition since 2003 says that while the grounds of Windsor Racecourse were baked brick hard during Saltex, the running track was green and lush. “This is because Windsor have unrestricted extraction rights for water from the River Thames and they use millions of gallons of river water to keep the underlying soil and turf of the running track at optimum water content,” he explains. “As a result of the ground staff’s careful irrigation regime, the turf beneath the aluminium track ways was moist before the tracks were laid and remained so when the tracks were lifted.”

Having aerated the area by the finishing line and where the one mile start feeds the horses across the main track earlier this year, Terrain Aeration employed the company’s Airforce Terralift machine injecting compressed air one metre below the surface via a steel probe, to break up compaction caused by heavy goods vehicles during build-up and break down before and after Saltex, and pedestrian traffic during the show.

“Careful pressure selection and the unique Terralift pressure control and injection system ensure that the ground remains true and there are no cavities into which an unfortunate horse can plunge a hoof,” David Green explains.

Grounds Manager Jeff Green says that it’s one of those situations where you can’t afford to take a chance. “We host a race meeting three weeks after the show and as well as needing to break up compaction caused by articulated lorries using the four crossing points installed for Saltex, we also over-seed. The new sward needs to be able to put strong roots down in a short space of time and de-compacted ground encourages this.”