Royal Randwick Racecourse
Australian Turf Club
2017 & ongoing
Sports fields and Race tracks across Australia are constantly under pressure to perform. With highly specific soil standards and strict time requirements, careful design, installation and maintenance is fundamental. As part of a larger project team, SESL were engaged by the Australian Turf Club, to conduct a field and laboratory diagnostic investigation of the new track installation at Royal Randwick .
The scope of works included recommendations and specialist soil science advice for improving the performance of the growing medium, including an amelioration and rectification plan and in-house analysis of trial blends to guarantee the performance of the track over the long term and to minimise maintenance costs. SESL’s reports and lead time provided answers required with no disruption to the project timeline. All test results were accompanied by an interpretive report with comments on the suitability of the soil for the proposed end use.
SESL have continued to provide maintenance assessments to Randwick Racecourse since its installation.
SESL and the Australian Turf have had a strong working relationship for 10 years. Within this time, we have conducted assessments on the soil for drainage and permeability, hydraulic conductivity, topsoil suitability, sand specifications on the tracks, installation assessments, rootzone assessments, follow up investigations and more.
With the fixed deadlines track maintenance typically has to follow (peak performance for race & game days, etc), rainfall disturbance to soil conditions can be a significant challenge to overcome. SESL have conducted assessments on particle migration and redistribution post heavy rainfall periods, in addition to sportsturf rootzone compaction. Recommendations were given accordingly on how to manage these potential performance issues to meet the suitable requirements for a high-performance track.
In follow up investigations, SESL recommended improvements to both physical and chemical characteristics to the soil profile. Suggestions included improving the rootzone material through a re-blended mix application in addition to the incorporation of fertilisers and soil ameliorants to correct chemical imbalances.
Additional trials have continued to be serviced to the Randwick Racecourse to confirm the performance of the proposed recommendations. SESL continues to assist stakeholders in the decision-making process of track management by providing sound scientific advice and strategic recommendation.