June 25, 2009 at 16:49 #11871
Any Hamilton experts (Rob?) know anything about irrigation at the track The place has become a complete mystery this year with huge discrepancies in times between the loop course and the sprint course. I’ve looked at rail movement and wind but still cant put my finger on it. The puzzling thing is that on good to firm ground the time imbalances on either course switch from meeting to meeting.
My own guess is that either the loop receives far less water or that the far side half of the sprint track where they race over longer distances receives far less water which seems to be case looking at the divots being thrown up, although you’d never know it as the jockeys always stay stand side for sprints.
Anyone know any more?June 25, 2009 at 16:56 #236299apracingParticipant
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This info from the going report on the BHA site may be relevant :
Due to the realignment of rail, all races over a mile or further
will be approximately 30yds shorter than the official race
I’m fairly sure this has been the case at previous meetings this month as well.
APJune 25, 2009 at 17:13 #236308
Thanks AP. The meetings on 29th May, 4th June, 10th June all had 25 yards added, last 2 meetings 30 yards subtracted. I’m getting discrepancies of 10 lengths per mile which is just not possible given the level of horse that runs there. Take a look at Fishforcompliments race over the 6f on June 10th and see the size of divot and how high their being thrown into the air compared to the runners in the longer races who came down the other side of the track.
It must be uneven watering, I’d like to know for sure. The round course there just about rides the fastest in the UK these days.June 25, 2009 at 17:27 #236311BiotechyMember
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The round loop must climb 30 – 40 ft from start to finish, so obviously the water table will be greater at the bottom than the top.June 25, 2009 at 18:37 #236327robnorthParticipant
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They have shunted the rail back and forth for each meeting this season, but to the course management’s credit at least they have specified the change in distance. I’ve been noting the amended distances in my Notebook on the Forum.
I wouldn’t imagine the loop would be the easiest bit of land to water given its camber across the track and the fact that it slopes up to the top of the straight. That aside, the drainage work that the course have carried out in the last two years means it is riding as fast as it ever has, though reports suggest not to the physical detriment of the competitors. We have had a comparatively dry late spring so the dip in the straight hasn’t got significantly testing this season. I work about a few hundred yards from the six furlong start, so I’ll try to catch them watering and have a look.
To show how watering can be uneven, I remember driving past Mussleburgh a year or two back when they were watering. With a breeze blowing from land to sea most of the water aimed at the straight course was blown toward the inside. Unless it was adjusted this would have caused a fast strip up the stand rail.
RobJune 25, 2009 at 18:54 #236329
Thanks Rob. With the prevailing south westerly in the summer perhaps watering in the straight is being overly adjusted towards the stand rail, it certainly appears the stand side is getting more water recently. Would appreciate any more info you can provide like do they use a boom or pop ups?
Agree it rides seriously fast at times, there is no course faster on my figures.June 29, 2009 at 15:44 #236971robnorthParticipant
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I just took a brisk lunchtime walk ‘around the corner’ to look down the Hamilton Park straight and then a take closer look at the loop.
I haven’t actually seen them watering the track but by observation I would suggest they use a boom, since I couldn’t spot any sprinkler points and there is none of the ‘drift growth’ you get with wind blown watering.
Judging by the colour of the grass the loop seems to have been watered less than the straight which confirms your view. However, albeit rather unscientifically, it looks as if the straight has been watered evenly across. There certainly doesn’t seem to any discernable growth difference from one side to the other.
RobJune 29, 2009 at 17:04 #236992
Thanks Rob, very much appreciated. I did a "virtual" walk of the course on Google Earth, I didn’t realise the extent of the camber on the straight course which slopes 8-10 feet from left to right in places as you walk up it. I’d say the loop is definitely getting less water and perhaps in trying to compensate for the camber and prevailing wind on the straight course they overdo the watering on the stands side from time to time.
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