In 2010, we were approached to help Wolverhampton with a wax issue in their pre-existing Polytrack surface. The wax coating in the track was becoming a major issue in the winter season, resulting in the surface becoming brittle and balling up in low temperatures. This resulted in the track having to be continually worked night and day prior to racing to ensure the surface was raceable – a cosiderable financial outlay for the owners and operators of the track.
A new wax coating supplied by a third party was sold to Wolverhampton, and Leisure Ride group installed this wax coating, working alongside Fergus Cameron, Clerk of the Course.
Between 2010 and 2013 three separate applications of this new wax was installed. Although each application provided a sustainable racing surface – due to the continued breakdown of the Polytrack, which is unstoppable these applications did not prevent the breakdown – simply allowed racing to continue.
In January 2013 Wolverhampton Racecourse realised that the degradation of the Polytrack surface was unstoppable and therefore with the continued co-operation of Fergus Cameron, LRG began to research the options to further extend the life of the track.
Using a phased sample-based approach we took samples and investigated possible options including mixing with new sand, new fibre and a new unique polymer-based coating that LRG were already trialling successfully on arena surfaces. The polymer coating was specifically engineered to prevent freezing at the abnormal winter temperatures that the UK has been experiencing for the previous few years.
Four final blends were shortlisted, and Wolverhampton continued their own low-temperature testing in an industrial freezer.
Post-testing the final choice was selected by the Wolverhampton team. This blend was installed despite challenging conditions, and extremely tight deadline and limited ability to test in the off-season. Despite all this the track was open for the first days racing, thanks to many late nights on our part and the commendable professionalism of the Wolverhampton ground staff.
As such we were able to massively extend the working life of an expired race-track and prevent the issues of freezing – meeting and exceeding the original brief.
Please note: Whilst we were able to give the track a few more years of life – as of August 2014 a new surface has been installed by a third party. We wish Wolverhampton the best of luck with it.
Click the image to view the rejuvenation of Wolverhampton all weather horse racing surface