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Ready for race day

Friday, 7th March, 2014

Trainer Mick Wayman says the racecourse is in top shape for the St Patrick’s Day race meeting following the rain this week. PICTURE: Ethan James Trainer Mick Wayman says the racecourse is in top shape for the St Patrick’s Day race meeting following the rain this week. PICTURE: Ethan James

By By Ethan James

While the recent heavy rain caused havoc on the streets, they have proven an “absolute godsend” to preparations for next weekend’s St Pat’s races.

Mick Wayman is in charge of preparing the track and said it is looking healthier than ever after the soaking on Tuesday afternoon.

“It was excellent. It honestly couldn’t have happened at a better time,” he said.

“There was minimal damage apart from a few little spots across the hill... we installed new drains a few years back, so the water drains really well.”

Wayman, who has been taking care of the track for the past few years, says the surface will be a top quality ‘sand three’ track on race day.

“There is about 25 to 30 per cent moisture in the track at the moment...it’s the best I’ve seen it in a long time.

“It’s an excellent dirt track. It will be fast but it’s only as quick as the animal that runs on it.”

The downpour meant that Wayman hasn’t needed to pump as much water into the surface as anticipated.

“I’m not going to put any water on it until next week... it’ll also save us a lot of money.”

However, he still has to find the fine balance between too much moisture and a dust bowl.

“We’ll continue to screen it once a day to get the horse prints and keep the sand even on top,” Wayman said.

“But we do have some warmer days coming up, so we don’t want it to get too baked either.”

Aside from getting the track in tip-top shape, Wayman is set to field two horses on race day.

A trainer for 41 years, he will be running Scarbank in the Outback Sprint, while First Defence will run in a class three event.

Until then, he will be keeping one eye on the forecasts.

“That dictates how much water we put into it. I think there are more showers scheduled for Wednesday next week which would be perfect in the lead-up.”

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