Innovative racing surfaces under the spotlight

POSTED ON  |  01-05-2019

A Victorian horseracing track will be revamped with new turf over a course of sustainable asphalt – as elsewhere a “pop-up” track is floated for Australia’s most iconic overpass. Alex Fraser Group is completing works at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse to provide sustainable solutions to the track redevelopment.

Working with the Victoria Racing Club’s principal contractor T James & Son Constructions, Alex Fraser Asphalt initially profiled 10,000 tonnes (correct weight) from the track. The profiled material was then recycled and stockpiled for use in the new track, providing the most sustainable outcome for the project.

An open graded asphalt is now being laid. This porous asphalt mix is formulated to provide large voids (in excess of 20 per cent) to provide better drainage and improve the safety for horses and riders. Once the sustainable asphalt is laid, a rubber compound will be laid on top to provide a safe and durable training track for the horses.

“We’re very happy to be working with T James & Son Constructions again on such an interesting project,” Alex Fraser’s profiling manager Andrew Barbara said. “It’s great to hear from our customers that we’re winning their jobs because of our customer service, quality and reliability.”

Racing on iconic landmarks

Flemington Racecourse isn’t the only iconic piece of turf to be recycled within Australia. It might seem implausible but Sydney Harbour Bridge could potentially hold a race meeting. Racing NSW is reportedly set to meet with representatives of English events company City Racing in the next couple of months to discuss the possibility.

Peter Phillips, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, has been planning the street-racing concept for the past couple of years. He had the idea after staging an equestrian event on a similar surface on Horse Guards Parade in London. He told BBC News that the event demonstrated how safe “pop-up” conditions for horses in a competitive environment could be installed and removed within three days.

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