Lessons from Trentham abandonment

17 December 2021

RACE has made several proactive changes to its operations at the Awapuni and Trentham tracks in the wake of the abandonment at the latter venue on Saturday, 4 December.

“While we wait for the final report and outcomes from NZTR’s investigations into the abandonment, we have already implemented a number of internal changes to ensure the interests of clubs and stakeholders are at the forefront of all decision making within the group,” RACE Chair Paul Humphries said.

Drainage at Trentham has also already been partially addressed via a full air injection of the track on Tuesday 7 December, and a keenly awaited Verti-Drain machine is due to arrive in the country this month. Once in commission this implement will be able to be utilised at Trentham and Awapuni, to the ongoing benefit of both venues.

RACE has also implemented additional processes to assist with team-based decision making in track preparation, with a wider sweep of key stakeholders involved via the distribution of a standard information template. The packaging up of the weekly track operating plan, weather forecasts and subsequent observations or changes has proven to be an immediate benefit and is now being rolled out across both tracks.

“We are also committed to implementing any recommendations that come from NZTR’s investigation into the circumstances that arose at Trentham to ensure the chances of a repeat event of this nature are slim to none,” Humphries said. “It is important that the entire industry learns from this situation as we can ill-afford to lose any raceday, let alone a Group 1 premier day on one of the biggest weekends of the year.”

A new track supervisor at Trentham will be recruited in the new year, with the reluctant acceptance of the resignation of long time Track Manager Mark Biddle.

“We wish to publicly thank Mark for his great work and effort over his 30 years of service at Trentham, and we wish him all the best with his future endeavours,” Humphries said.

You might also like