A long awaited milestone was reached this week, with the official opening of the new Polytrack synthetic training facility at the Clarendon track on Sunday.
The 7 metre wide, 1980 metre round track has been the culmination of years in the planning, with the construction phase lasting seven months.
Hawkesbury Race Club Chief Executive, Greg Rudolph, was understandably thrilled, having planned the project for most of his two years in tenure at the race club, along with a team led by HRC track manager, Jeff Haynes.
“Our timing has been perfect, with the Polytrack in use as we head into the start of Winter, the toughest time for our training tracks. This will reduce the workload on our grass tracks and provide a world class training surface, now used in many jurisdictions globally,” said Rudolph.
“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.”
Track Manager Jeff Haynes was also buoyed by the performance of the track in the first few days of operation, particularly given the wet weather in the last week.
"We had 350 horses work over the track in the first three days and the feedback has been sensational," said Haynes.
"The track is as consistent at 8 am, as it is when the track first opens and has coped with the rain very well.”