Winning Post-1800m: Pretty fresh ground across the inside four lanes which is where they'll race in this section. No wear or fill to speak of and the coverage is solid for this time of year. It was sunny and windy at the time of walking and the ground felt on the better side of a Soft 7 to me.
1800m-1200m: Not a lot to report in this section either. The inside few lanes are all quite fresh with no wear and tear to speak of. Coverage is also quite solid and there's genuine give in the ground. I thought it was well into the '6' range but drying at the time I was there. Track rating will depend on the amount of rain that falls over the next 24 hours.
1200m-800m: Once again the inside four lanes are much cleaner with no wear and tear or sand fill to be found. From lane 5 and beyond it's clear they've done some racing over it and there's noticeable fill and wear marks. That said, I wasn't sold that it would be a lot slower as far as a racing surface goes. Perhaps with additional rain it might not hold together as well as the inside few lanes.
800m-400m: Same story here with the inside four lanes being fresher. The rail from the previous couple of meetings, at 8m and 10m, lies around lane 5 or 6 and that part of the track is softer and will probably race slower. Some chance hard on the rail may chop out as the meeting progresses, especially if there's more rain but I'd bank on it being fine for at least the first half. I prefer to be firm about my track predictions but I'm going to sit on the fence when it comes to the pattern here. That's despite the inside four lanes appearing to be superior. I want to see how much rain falls and how they mark it after a race or two.
400m-Winning Post: No change here in terms of the inner four lanes walking in better condition than out wider. The stick breaks the surface as easily towards the inside as it does out wide where the fill and wear is found. There may well be a pattern given the difference either side of lane 5 but it's not an easy one to predict in my opinion. I thought it walked between a '6' and a '7' and further rainfall would be the decider. If they get some decent rain then I might lean slightly towards the inside lanes as being superior, at least early.
Verdict: The rail moves back to the True for the first time since May 7 and those inside four lanes are clearly much cleaner than out wide. There's no fill or wear to speak of and the coverage is about as good as you could expect for this time of year. From lane 5 and beyond there is a fair bit of sand fill and marking from previous meetings but I didn't think there was a huge difference in the way each area walked. There are enough fresh lanes towards the inside to accommodate most of the horses but I'll be looking to the first couple of races to assist with predicting the pattern. The amount of rain that falls in the 24-hour period before race day will play a big part. There's a chance the inside lane chops out a touch late in the day. I felt it was between a '6' and a '7' at the time of walking it but the wind was blowing hard and the sun was shining. Good chance we are in the '7' or '8' range for race day depending on the rain.
Mrs C J McAuliffe, A J Gluyas, G G Lovelock, M D Young, A D Doyle, D M Zundel, M M Tonkin, C R Rogers, A J Owers, R J Dinnison, S Rayson, M S Hughes, Three Ducks (Mgr: D S Hardy) & Big Boy (Mgr: Mrs C J McAuliffe)
R Jolly, L Lines, Mrs H Jolly, G Gifford, P Ninnis, Mrs P Southern-Ninnis, S Cowling, Mrs E Rasheed, J Doyle, B Matthew, P Vaughan, G J Conron, Amorini Racing (Mgr: C J Bosley), The Golden Greeks Racing, Champagne on a Beer Budget, BBQ Inn Racing 1&2, ODW Racing, Shake n Race & G P Racing