Southwell to Switch to Tapeta Surface

Southwell Racecourse |

Southwell Racecourse's fibresand surface will be replaced by Tapeta this spring and the project will be completed by the summer of 2021, the Arena Racing Company announced on Monday. A planning application was submitted for the new surface because the fibresand has come to the end of its operational life. Fibresand was first laid down in 1989, the start of all-weather racing at the Nottinghamshire venue. Tapeta, developed by Michael Dickinson and Joan Wakefield of Tapeta Footings, has already been laid down at Wolverhampton and Newcastle-also ARC courses-since 2014 and 2016, respectively. It is also in use in North America at Presque Isle Downs, Golden Gate Fields and Turfway Park Stateside, as well as Woodbine in Canada. This project follows the construction of floodlights in 2019 and the development of a flood alleviation scheme to protect the racecourse.

“Racing at both Wolverhampton and Newcastle has benefitted hugely from the installation of Tapeta, as we have worked closely with Michael Dickinson, Joan Wakefield and their team on the maintenance and upkeep of both surfaces,” said ARC Chief Executive Martin Cruddace. “Tapeta represents the next generation of artificial all-weather racing surface, in terms of its appeal to both trainers and jockeys, and it offers a number of benefits regarding its safety record, relative lack of kickback and fairness for horses.  In addition, it has the ability to handle very low temperatures and significant rainfall.

“The installation of Tapeta will give us an opportunity to look at the flat programme at Southwell and possibly introduce some Fast Track Qualifier races for the All-Weather Championships, for example. This work represents another significant step forward for racing at Southwell, which we intend to be one of the finest all-weather tracks in the world.”

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