Category: Features

Horse Racing Track

Racing at Arlington Park

There are two main decisions that need to be made for all racecourses: should the course have just turf tracks or a mixture of turf and all-weather tracks?

All racecourses in the UK have turf tracks, and some have all-weather tracks as well.

image: Horserace on an all-weather track

All-weather track

An all-weather track means that the racecourse can be used for many more races; this in turn means that the course can earn additional revenues from customers and also from broadcasting. This makes all-weather racing quite attractive as a business proposition. These tracks also incur relatively low maintenance costs.

However, there is a clear downside: all – weather tracks can only hold flat racing – they can never hold hurdles or fences on them – whereas turf tracks can hold both flat races and jump races. If tracks can have hurdles or fences too, you can attract both the people that enjoy flat racing and the people that enjoy jump racing.

Another downside is the fact that a typical all-weather track can cost as much as 50% more than a turf track. So clearly, there needs to be a good business case for building one. There are only five all-weather tracks on British racecourses at the moment.

image: Horserace on a turf track

Turf track

Conversely, a turf track is a lot cheaper to build than an all-weather track, but fewer races can be run in any given year: the ground needs time to recover from a race.





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