New track ratings proposed
17:34 AEST Fri Jan 24 2014

Proposed new track ratings would retain the numerical system but change the language, replacing the terms fast, dead and slow with degrees of firm and soft.

The Australian Racing Board released the proposed new terms on Friday and invited interested parties to convey their thoughts via the ARB website.

The revision comes after a meeting in Sydney on Thursday of officials from NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

"The object of the exercise was to modernise the terms applying to track ratings for the benefit of punters and the next generation of punters and racegoers whilst describing in detail the footing of the track," ARB chief executive Peter McGauran said.

"The ARB's aim is to give the racing public and participants the most detailed and easily understood information possible on track conditions.

"The working party agreed that the numerical rating system should be retained as the strongest guide to the going of a track in conjunction with terms more commonly used and understood by punters.

"We want to take the revision into the marketplace and get the feedback of racing's customers."

The current ratings followed by their proposed replacements are:

Fast - Firm 1 (Dry hard track, much firmer than a good track)

Good - Firm 2 (Firm track with a reasonable grass coverage, on the firmer side of good)

Good - Good 3 (Track with a good grass coverage and cushion. Ideal track without being too firm)

Dead - Good 4 (Track with just some give in it. Shouldn't affect any chances although on the worse side of good)

Dead - Soft 5 (Reasonable amount of give in it, the driest category of rain affected tracks)

Slow - Soft 6 (Not a badly affected track, but will suit some horses more than others; becoming softer)

Slow - Soft 7 (More rain-affected track that will chop out; on the better side of heavy)

Heavy - Heavy 8 (Soft track that horses will get into but not necessarily too wet)

Heavy - Heavy 9 (Softer track getting into squelchy area. Genuine heavy)

Heavy - Heavy 10 (Very soft and wet track. Heaviest category)

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