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Across SA, John’s on the right track

From Balaklava to Bordertown, Mount Gambier to Murray Bridge, and everywhere in between, John Tonani has plenty on his plate as TRSA’s industry track manager.

Mr Tonani attended last week’s Balaklava Cup meeting and was pleased to see the track looking spectacular, and playing just as well, given the club has endured challenges with its racing surface in recent years.

“Balaklava is in excellent condition,” he said.

“I’ve been watching it through the year and it’s raced really well.

“The grass has recovered really well since their last meeting. Once we started to get some warm weather the soil temperature started rising and I’m happy with it now.”

Mr Tonani, who took up the role in 2016, has been paying particularly close attention to the Mount Gambier Racing Club’s track, which has been plagued by a weed infestation and last hosted a meeting in June.

Dave ‘Shep’ Shepherdson started as the club’s track manager in September and is now working towards re-establishing the kikuyu grass and ensuring the surface is fit to again host race meetings.

Mr Tonani has been to Mount Gambier recently to help assess the club’s challenges.

“In the last few months we’ve sprayed the poa (weed) out and knocked it off completely, and it’s gone completely yellow,” he said.

“But the kikuyu hasn’t taken off yet because it’s been too cold.

“They have a new machine, the Amazone, and they started scarifying it (earlier this month).

“It’s taken off all the dead poa and rye off the track and now we’re just waiting for the temperature to warm up, to get the kikuyu moving. We’re (also) going to start a fertilising program.”

Mr Tonani said the club was “looking at March or April” to host its next meeting.

“But hopefully before,” he said.

“They’ve only got a couple months of warm summer weather there, that’s what we’re dealing with.”


John Tonani’s view on some other SA tracks:

Murray Bridge: It’s a perfect track. It’s very good.

Morphettville: There are some renovations coming at Morphettville, but it’s been racing really well the last few meetings. The Parks too.

Bordertown: Bordertown has improved a lot since I took the role, because they had a few issues. We started doing some renovations to it, and it’s come good.


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