Report on Tauherenikau track

31 March 2021

NZTR Tracks Advisor Todd Treweek has provided a report following the abandonment of Sunday’s Masterton RC meeting at Tauherenikau.

In the first race a runner stumbled badly, dislodging rider Danielle Hirini (who was uninjured) near the 600m mark.  An inspection of the track revealed a hole approximately 3m off the rail, 200mm in depth and approximately 120mm in diameter.

Prior to the meeting on Sunday the track was inspected by Stewards and core samples were taken at various points, including the back and home straights and the home turn, in the approximate area where the incident occurred.  The stewards reported that no visual issues were found, and the track was confirmed to be a dead4 and fit for purpose.

Having concluded discussions with those who walked the track after the incident occurred and also having reviewed the club’s maintenance regime Treweek stated he believed the club had prepared the track to the best of their ability, covering all reasonable precautions to provide a safe surface.

He has subsequently investigated several potential causes of the hole, eliminating the possibility of it being either a rabbit hole or collapsed drain.  Instead Treweek believes the most likely cause was an old Mole Plough line.

“This can be unnoticeable at the time and will only present itself when pressure is placed on it directly,” he said.

“It has also been mentioned that this area of track has tended to remain wetter than the rest of the track.  This is no doubt due to it being the lowest point of the track and near the river.”

The recommendation from Treweek is that several new lateral drains be installed in this area to improve the consistency and a review of the club’s irrigation system also be carried out.

The track will not be raced on for the remainder of the season and further inspections will be required before it is to host another race meeting.

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