In an area well known for its heavy rainfall and often bitter weather conditions it seems remarkable that Tasmania has survived so long without an all weather racing surface.
That has always been the case though with the local racing community forced to survive on the very best in track management and plenty of luck along the way.
That will all change this weekend though when the city of Devonport stages the official opening of their brand new synthetic surface.
Jockeys got their first taste of the new Tapeta track at Spreyton yesterday and it passed with flying colours after a series of nine barrier trials.
The all weather surface will now all but guarantee racing in Tasmania over the entire year, most crucially during the winter where they’ve often had problems keeping grass up to the required standard.
Chief steward of Tasracing Wade Hadley said the feedback they’ve received from riders has been brilliant.
“The main comment from the jockeys was that this is an exceptional track,” Hadley said.
Those sentiments were echoed by the secretary of the Tasmanian Jockey’s Association Kevin Ring.
“The track is terrific and undoubtedly world-class,” he said.
“The jockeys have no issues with it at all, in fact they love it. There is very little kick back and they are looking forward to riding on it this Sunday.”
Fields of up to 14 will be able to compete on the new track with the exception of starts from the 1350m which will be kept at a limit of 10 runners.
The opening of the track will coincide with the return to racing of top local rider Michael Guthrie who has been serving a lengthy suspension.
He’ll be back in the saddle with four rides on Sunday all for Spreyton trainer Mark Ganderton.