We have all-weather racing in the UK and Ireland and at first it only attracted moderate horses from the less popular stables but nowadays better quality horses from top yards are using it some and for what turn out to be genuine Group 1 performers.
We have seven all-weather tracks in the UK and Ireland which are Southwell (fibresand), Lingfield Park, Kempton Park, Chelmsford City and Dundalk (Polytrack) Newcastle and Wolverhampton (Tapeta) but not one dirt track.
So why do we need a dirt track? Well I would say so we can compete with the Americans at the Breeders Cup on a more level playing field instead of just sending horses over and hope they handle the conditions.
We have won the Breeders Cup Classic in the past with Ravens Pass who beat Henrythenavigator but after that the Americans spat the dummy Trump style and tore up the synthetic surfaces.
So we need to fight back against the school bullies and create a dirt track. We have so many racecourses in this country so there is no reason why we couldn’t convert one of them to this surface.
Now we will have people saying our horses are not bred for dirt but I disagree because a lot of the breeds over here go back to Northern Dancer who won two legs of the triple crown and accounts for nearly all are top stallions over here. Plus, the big owners would also buy horses from the more common recent dirt breeds so it would be a good thing.
If it did get the go ahead, I think they should model it on Churchill Downs so that in the future we could target the Kentucky Derby and the other Triple Crown races as well as the Breeders Cup later in the year. It would not just be good for racing over here but for Horse racing worldwide and maybe every so many years we could host the Breeders Cup or something similar on our shores as unlikely as that sounds.
I think a dirt racetrack in this country would be a huge improvement for horse racing here and be a benefit for the industry overall.