We are currently in the thick of the Spring Racing Carnival, with the Melbourne Cup being run this week. Its an exciting time of year, but many punters don’t know what goes on behind the scenes to get an ideal track rating. Track rating provides a guide to how the track feels and performs and directly impacts on the horses race performance. Track rating is purely a reflection of the current soil and turf performance.
In Australia Tracks are rated on a scale from 1-10
Australian Race Track Ratings
Category Scale Description
FAST 1 A dry hard track
GOOD 2 A firm track
GOOD 3 Ideal track with some give
DEAD 4 Track with give, better side of Dead
DEAD 5 Significant amount of give, worse side of Dead
SLOW 6 A mildly rain affected track, better side of Slow
SLOW 7 Rain affected, worse side of Slow
HEAVY 8 Soft track, just into Heavy range
HEAVY 9 Very soft, genuine Heavy
HEAVY 10 Very soft and wet, heaviest category
We provide soil management advice and solutions for turf surfaces throughout many areas of Australia. Managing the track soil condition is essential for the performance of the turf to minimise thatching and creating a resilient surface that can withstand high wear, such as 10 races over a days racing without impacting on the track bias. Soil condition also plays a major role in horse and jockey welfare, with tracks that are too hard or too soft causing stresses on the horses, which increase the risk of injury.
A lot of work and preparation goes into making the soils perform to a high, competitive standard. After working hard towards the spring racing season, it is great to pick up the form guide and see the track surface has been given an ideal rating. So being out on the track for a day of racing is just another Soil Expedition for us!