• Sat
  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 9:06pm
SportRacing

Valley turf puts Sha Tin all-weather to shame

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 11:10am

Credit where it is due with the tracks - what a fantastic surface that Sha Tin all-weather is … okay, just kidding. If you believe that, we know of a bridge in Sydney we can get you a great price on.

But the turf tracks are a different matter.

How many racing jurisdictions, of high, low or in-between standing, would have raced in the circumstances of last week's Happy Valley fixture, when well over 200mm of rain was dumped on it in the 18 hours prior?

That we can't answer, but we are prepared to bet than none - anywhere - would have run a meeting after such a drowning with significantly faster than average times all night.

It is a quirk of the Hong Kong turf surfaces that very fast times follow after plenty of rain, provided the outstanding drainage systems have time to work. The give in the surface is apparent to the horses, who seem prepared to stretch out so much better than on just plain bone dry tracks, but the cushion is not apparent on the clock.

We have seen meetings at the start of the season, at both tracks, that took more than 500mm of rain in the week leading up to the event and were barely marked on race day, but that is coming back after months of rest.

With tracks naturally feeling some fatigue, conditions at this end of the season can be more of a query when the rain descends, but Happy Valley could not have raced better last week.

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