The racing industry has not been immune to the challenges presented by the global pandemic but one light it has shined on the sport is the benefit of resting metropolitan racetracks.
Officials were forced to shift meetings away from LGAs of concern during the winter and early spring, relocating them to provincial courses such as Kembla Grange as well as utilising Randwick’s Kensington track.
Leading trainer Chris Waller believes the necessary measures have inadvertently shown that giving tracks like Rosehill a chance to revitalise during the off-peak periods has had a significant impact.
“I think what we’ve seen with COVID is how much these tracks can improve after a bit of a break,” Waller said.
“Curators do a fantastic job 52 weeks of the year, but it gives them a bit of a break and the tracks a bit of relief.
“I reckon we’re in for a real decent autumn just having those good surfaces and it will probably save a few race meetings here and there.”
Saturday’s Rosehill meeting went ahead on a heavy 10 surface and despite a deluge of rain in the lead-up, it presented fairly for all runners.
Waller said he walked across the track several times during the latter part of the week and was surprised by how well it had held up, in contrast to the autumn when the Golden Slipper day program was postponed due to heavy rain.
“I remember the day we lost during the carnival, it was a similar scenario,” he said.
“Maybe there was more quantity, but I think there is merit in sharing the load (between tracks) if wagering allows it.”