The new Polytrack training surface at Hawkesbury has passed its first test with a soft opening ahead of a full workload.
A dozen locally trained horses were given light work-outs on the track on Monday morning.
The Brad Widdup-trained Ajani, partnered by track rider Mikey Wade, was the first horse on the synthetic surface.
“Feels incredible,” Wade said.
“Being so quiet to gallop on, you can easily tell how your horse is breathing, which is really important.”
Chinese apprentice Qin Yong then rode Ajani’s stablemate before other stables worked their horses.
On hand were Hawkesbury chief executive Greg Rudolph, Martin Collins Australia managing director Reid Sanders, track manager Jeff Haynes, business manager Lea Porteous, and the track team.
“The addition of a synthetic training surface is an enormous boost for the club’s training facilities,” Rudolph said.
“With the next project being the building of 50 on-course stables, Hawkesbury will be the ideal place to train, with excellent facilities and access to a number of race tracks within a couple of hours travel time.”
The first official day of training on the Polytrack will be on Wednesday morning.
The track will be maintained three times a week with the Gallop Master, an invention of Martin Collins, which keeps the surface groomed, level and compacted