Training champion racehorses is about more than an expensive barn, top grade feeding regime, top staff and top owners.

Without the best training schedule those factors will never be quite enough. And  without a top flight track the best schedule can’t be put into best action.

Purdon Racing puts a special emphasis on its training tracks.Layout is important; size is important.Conditioning is very important.

Among that regime is a refurbishing of the main track surface about every 6 months.Its an expensive and for a time at least inconvenient item. But the ancient maxim “no foot no horse” motto applies. Expensive horses chasing big stakes need everything going right at the right time and flaws in the timing of those preps can be disastrous.

But there’s more to it than just getting truckloads of crusher dust, dumping it on the track and rolling it in before grading.A lot more.

At the moment the Rolleston track is going through its own spring preparation and it will feature some changes from the last make over.

“We have graded off the top and rolled it ready for the new top to go on. Hopefully we will get it finished in a week or so and be ready to go. I’d expect it to be lasting through until after the Cup meeting in November. Its a very busy time.”  Nathan said

There’s a significant change in this process this time. A higher grade of fine metal will be applied which Nathan is confident  will improve surface overall.

“The last topping did the job well but it was finer and didn’t  stand up to the weather quite as well. This time we are using a Grade 3 stone in the mixture for the first time to hold it together  and make it more resilient, especially after rain, and so more practical through the spring.There’s only one company  in Canterbury who have the equipment to  refine at  this level and  it will soon be in place  in time for the serious spring hoppled work”

Maintenance is a major and constant. It starts early in the morning and the tracks  graded or  conditioned between hoppled sessions.There is also the straight track,an expensive bu productive innovation  to maintain as well as the inside track for slower work. A sore footed or jarred up horse is not what you want as the major stakes races draw closer.             

It’s a reminder that it takes investment to make profit in the racing business as much as any other.Another example at Rolleston that  the best deserve the best.

PIC: Main. A typical Rolleston training surface conditioned for maximum training performance

Insert; Purdon Racing track works as hard as the horses


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