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A Shining Example

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  • #12130
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    With all the criticism rightly given to some courses about the state of their ground I think it is only fair to redress the balance.

    Full marks to Ffos Las for the state of their track. Cleraly the local geology helps but credit must also go to the course builder and the ground staff.

    Despite really heavy rain in the hours leading up to yesterdays meeting the going was absolutely perfect – they must have one hell of a drainage system – so it can be done!!!

    There are plenty of courses which would have easily had Soft going with the same weather conditions,

    The BHA could do a great deal worse than take advice from whoever is responsible for building and designing the track.

    #240413
    Cav
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    • Total Posts 4825

    But what happens when they get an extended dry spell Paul? Does the artificial drainage create rock hard ground that needs lots of water "to maintain". Isn’t this where the problems start?

    #240414
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    But what happens when they get an extended dry spell Paul? Does the artificial drainage create rock hard ground that needs lots of water "to maintain". Isn’t this where the problems start?

    Fair point – but do they have long dry spells in SW Wales? :)

    #240419
    seabird
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    • Total Posts 2924

    Very rarely, Paul.

    Colin

    #240425
    Drone
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    • Total Posts 5620

    Evan Williams at the inaugural NH meeting made the point that he thought the free-drainage would render it ideal for winter jumping. Though by inference I got the impression he was actually politely saying it wasn’t the right place for summer jumping

    If it produces going like the under-used Doncaster does over the winter then we really can look forward to enjoying racing at a first-class venue

    Watched a bit yesterday. Credit again due to all involved.

    #240426
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    I am sure Ffloss Ass is doing Wales very proud at the moment.

    #240428
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    As a race track it is very impressive, in a lovely setting – even nicer once the sun came out.

    It’s biggest disadvantage, which I sure Seabird will confirm, is it is not at all easy to get to using public transport and even driving it is out of the way.

    The facilities could be better, however it was only their second meeting and they will learn and I believe they are planning changes.

    Having a bouncy castle inside The Real McCoy Bar did not seem to be a masterstroke of brilliant planning – it was more like a creche than a bar.

    There was a crowd of 3,500 yesterday and when it rained it was very uncomfortable inside the stands and during racing the stand was packed solid.

    Now I am not sure how many they are expecting once the "novelty" of the new course dies down but I would not call 3,500 unreasonable and they need to improve to cope with those numbers.

    As I said it was chunky yesterday – I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like at the opening meeting – it must have been impossible to move around.

    All in all though I was impressed – especially with the racing surface. Viewing is excellent and with a few more facilities it has the potential to be a very successful course.

    #240432
    Gerald
    Member
    • Total Posts 4293

    The BHA could do a great deal worse than take advice from whoever is responsible for building and designing the track.

    On the contrary, the BHA have a document on racecourse management and irrigation etc that courses take note of.

    #240435
    Cav
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    • Total Posts 4825

    The BHA could do a great deal worse than take advice from whoever is responsible for building and designing the track.

    I’d send them to Bath. A course that bears testament to letting nature take its course.

    Plenty of clerks would do very well as golf course irrigation consultants in this part of the world.

    #240442
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    Paul, the viewing was only excellent if you could force your way into the stand, which appears to be on the small side. Standing on the concourse I had great difficulty getting a view of the runners as they turned into the straight. Eddie Fremantle probably had a decent enough view though.

    As to getting there by public transport, it ain’t easy.

    The nearest station is Kidwelly which, if you trust the course’s website, is a mile away. They fib. The taxi driver clocked it at just about four miles.

    It seems there was a racecourse bus service from Llanelli train station to the course, a trip, again, according to the website of 5 miles but in actual fact more than double that. A shuttle service that was used by 27 people on the first day when 10,000 attended and just five yesterday. I spoke to the manager of Ffos Las by telephone this morning and he agreed that the distances on the website were misleading. He also confirmed that the bus service from Llanelli is to be discontinued.

    I think that a lot of people who travelled from across the border were surprised how far into Wales Ffos Las is.

    I think Paul said it took him 4 hours from Milton Keynes and one of the stable staff from Newmarket said that it had taken the box six hours.

    So if you intend visiting by public transport I suggest you aim for Kidwelly and pre-book a taxi.

    Colin

    #240452
    Grey Desire
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1921

    The travelling is the reason I haven’t been so far but hopefully will rectify it at some stage.

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