They're the Jockey Club's secret weapon, a small army of more than 50 New Territories women who come in on contract for the big jobs, making sure the Sha Tin turf track lives up to its excellent reputation. Pako Ip Pak-chung, the club's manager of tracks, said yesterday the women represent experienced contract labour that can be called in to give the tracks team some extra delivery power when required. 'For example, after the last race meeting on the C+3 rail placement, we have only two weeks before the QEII meeting,' he said. 'There is a certain amount that can be done with machines but these workers do everything manually, from replacement of divots [caused by the hooves of galloping horses] to hand-sowing the new grass. Everything they do, they do with a great deal of care and attention.' Sunday's springtime international fixture is a major image-building exercise for the Jockey Club, with racing industry pros and punters alike tuning in from all over the world. And while the racing is invariably world class, Ip knows the importance of providing a surface that meets everyone's expectations. 'This is the time when the winter grass, which provides our best racing surface, begins to die as the days get warmer,' Ip said. 'We have sown the summer grass and on the inside of the track, where we will race on Sunday, it has come through very well.' Ip has been with the club since 1994, having previous been a landscape consultant and horticultural trainee after leaving university. And while he's predicting 'good' ground tomorrow, he issued one final disclaimer about the volatile weather over the past two weeks. 'I'd say to the punters, keep an eye on the weather forecast,' he said.