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A catch up from our Head of Groundstaff

Blog 13th May 2020 Cheltenham

By Ben Hastie - Head of Groundstaff

As the season came to an earlier end than we had hoped, it is very much full steam ahead with preparations to ensure that the course is in the best condition possible for racing in October, our opening fixture of the 2020/21 season.

Each summer we have a number of projects that we undergo to continue to enhance, and improve the racecourse, ensuring that it honours its name as the Home of Jump Racing.

While maintaining social distancing, and with a smaller team than usual, we have begun scarifying the course. This is a job we undertake each summer as it removes any dead material in the sward and helps to promote new growth, producing a healthy consistent sward. Producing a healthy and current sward will help us fight any diseases that can occur in sports turf, help the grass species to be more wear tolerant, and generally provide an excellent cushion for the world’s best Jump racehorses.

In addition, we are installing a new drainage system in some areas of the course to improve the areas where the current drainage system is not working at its full capacity.

As we do each summer, we are renewing 10 of the Chase fences with new birch and shaping them ready for the 20/21 season. Each fence is renewed every two seasons, we do half the course one summer and then alternate the next.

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The season may have been a little shorter than we would have liked, but we are doing all we can to ensure that we are raring to go in October when we are set to start our new season.

Take care,
Ben Hastie
Head of Groundstaff

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