Interested Parties Taking Quick Action to Rectify Eagle Farm
Our horticultural expertise is limited to on inescapable fact-where we want the grass to grow, it refuses, but where we like to eliminate grass entirely, it is vigourous and tenacious beyond comprehension.
For this reason, we are reluctant to cast aspersions on the turf keepers at Eagle Farm. Their job must be exceeding difficult. Imagine you were trying to maintain a golf course or cemetery and every few minutes, a mob of thoroughbreds with hooves churning madly ran across your golf course or cemetery.
Yet, the other tracks seem to manage to a higher degree, even Royal Randwick, where they had to replay the Group 1 Sydney Cup following a rainy autumn that proved exceedingly challenging to experts who have spent their careers cultivating cultivation expertise.
Racing Queensland and other interested parties are to be commended for acknowledging that some mistakes were made when Eagle Farm underwent an expensive major renovation to prevent just this sort of thing and there seems to be a strong commitment to righting the wrongs that caused the most important meeting of the season from Eagle Farm to Doomben Racecourse.
Dale Monteith has been tasked with correcting the deficiencies; a process that he says will begin by taking soil samples every 100 metres around the circumference of the track at various rail positions.
That process and the results from the tests on the samples will require 10 days, or a bit longer.
Other things to fall under Monteith’s microscope will be the degree of thatch buildup and the nutrient profile of the soil beneath the turf. The hope is that some determination can be made regarding how best to promote the deep turf root structure that is critical to a healthy lawn that must withstand the rigours of pounding hooves.
It could come down to something as simple as making a precise scientific determination of which species of grass is best suited for the Queensland climate, and then taking steps to optimize that species’ ability to adapt of horses racing on it.