The Otaki track has been cleared for racing to resume there next Thursday, 5 September, following supervised trials being conducted on the course proper this morning.
A total of 12 Otaki horses trialed in three heats, with senior riders Hayden Tinsley, Jonathon Riddell, Daryl Bradley and Rosie Myers confirming that next week’s scheduled Otaki-Maori meeting should now proceed with the track having recovered from the drainage work around the bottom bend. RIU Stipendiary Steward Neil Goodwin, together with NZTR Venue Inspector Garry Foskett, RACE Inc Tracks Manger Chris Allen and Otaki-Maori Racing Club officials were also in attendance and inspected the track, with the riders, following the three heats. Garry Foskett reported that the track had recovered well from the work that had been undertaken in May and said there was a good sole of grass. He commented that according to the riders the Otaki track while heavy today, was very consistent and there were no issues with the presentation of the track where the work had been carried out.
The Otaki Maori Racing Club with funding support from NZTR and the Racing Minister’s Safety Fund undertook $80,000 of new drainage work in May around the bottom bend at the Otaki racecourse to address ongoing issues with water ponding on the track surface in this area each winter. The work included the installation of 60 new lateral drains, a main collector drain inside the running rail and a 225mm pipe outlet drain across the track. The drainage work was completed on time and budget in May, however it was agreed to reschedule the Levin July Ryder Stakes meeting to Awapuni and the Otaki-Maori Saturday feature meeting to Trentham to allow sufficient time for the track to recover and the new grass to become established.