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Clubs and RQ collaborate to remediate Gatton track

RACING Queensland, Lockyer Race Club and Toowoomba Turf Club combined resources to perform a remediation project on the Gatton track before racing resumed on March 24. 

It came after the club sought assistance from the Racing Queensland Infrastructure Team when it identified issues with the track on February 27, prior to its scheduled race day on March 9.

Racing Queensland Infrastructure and Racecourse Development Managers attended the track on February 28 and identified the track would require immediate remediation.

The club subsequently relinquished its March 9 meeting, and worked with RQ to harness a number of machines required to undertake the task, with great support from the Toowoomba Turf Club, Hinterland Mowers and the Brisbane Racing Club.

Toowoomba provided the loan of a verti drain, Hinterland Mowers a Ground Master Toro 4000 mower, and the BRC their new Phantom Core machine designed to address thatch issues.


The club then acted swiftly to slice and verti-drain, remove the thatch and dead organic matter, before amending the track with products recommended by the RQ Infrastructure team.

On March 5 an appropriate schedule of fertilisers were added to encourage growth.

Club president Terry Kirkwood said the track couldn't have presented any better than it did before Saturday's meeting. 

"It looked absolutely beautiful," he said. 

"I had all the confidence in the world because of the advice we were getting from the RQ Infrastructure team." 

Subsequently, through the diligence of 75-year-old track assistant, Jack Tillack, the club has mowed, groomed and maintained the surface in an exemplary fashion, allowing the areas under issue to recover in a short window of time.

An RQ infrastructure spokesman said Jack was a reflection of the spirit of many clubs throughout Queensland in his passion and ethic toward their tracks.

“He works on an honorary basis and exceeds above and beyond expectations with limited resources, but does have the full support of a club committed to producing the best racing product for the industry, and who are not afraid to take advice or roll up their sleeves.”

Mr Kirkwood added: "He is so passionate. He retired and wanted something to do to keep him busy but now I can't stop him. We are recording just how many hours he does to show what needs to be done to present this track in good order for racing." 


Racing returned on March 24. Racing Queensland will now undertake comprehensive testing and an analytical regime to develop a program for the club on maintenance and agronomy in the future.