Track Surface Preparation Guidelines

Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry has developed these Racing Surface Preparation Guidelines to assist Clubs in the rating of tracks for race day. The objective of this policy is to describe the desired condition of a track for the race meeting. New rating information has been developed for use around Australia from 1 August 2019. 
The Preparation of Race Track Surfaces

Clubs are requested to prepare the following racing surface for flat races:

• A track that is prepared with give in the interests of horse welfare;

• A track with a rating of GOOD for all races;

In seeking to prepare their racing surface in accordance with the guidelines, Clubs should:

• Prepare a track that is a GOOD 4 for at least the first race of the meeting;

• Prepare a track that is never FIRM; and

• Not place compliance with this guidance in advance of an accurate track rating.

The Australian Rules of Racing dictate that the track rating for jumps races must be no firmer than a SOFT 5. Jumps races will not be held on tracks rated GOOD or FIRM.

Clubs are requested to prepare a racing surface for jumps races that adheres to the Australian Rules of Racing. In seeking to prepare their racing surface, Clubs should not place compliance with this guidance in advance of an accurate track rating.

To view the full Racing Surface Preparation Guidelines click here.

Track Ratings
Previous Rating New Rating Numerical Rating Description of Numerical Rating
Fast Firm 1 Dry hard track
Good Firm 2 Firm track with reasonable grass coverage
Good Good 3 Track with good grass coverage and cushion
Dead Good 4 Track with some give in it
Dead Soft 5 Track with a reasonable amount of give in it
Slow Soft 6 Moist but not badly affected track
Slow Soft 7 More rain-affected track that will chop up
Heavy Heavy 8 Rain affected track that horses will get into
Heavy Heavy 9 Wet track getting into a squelchy area
Heavy Heavy 10 Heaviest category track, very wet, towards saturation
Synthetic Racetracks – while not being categorised under the same ratings system as Turf Racetracks should abide by the above dot points (a) and (b). 
Track Rating Submission Timeframes and Deadlines
From Monday 31 Aug 2015, Victorian Club Track Managers are required to enter track conditions directly via SNS Race Day - entry will no longer be performed by Racing Australia using Track Watch.
  • There are four compulsory Racing Victoria submission timeframes and deadlines for Track Condition Reporting outlined below.
  • No further Track Condition Reports outside of these are required to be submitted unless there is a change in Track Rating.
    If there is a change in Track Rating at any stage between the reporting deadlines an additional report must be entered

Report Inspection Timeframe Inspection Deadline for Track Rating to be submitted Non Submission follow up
1 Day of nominations close
[after nominations close]
Following Noms Close & Prior to 2:50pm

By Racing Victoria
Post 3pm and prior to 4pm
2 Day before acceptances close
[after nominations close]

Prior to 2:50pm

By Racing Victoria
Post 3pm and prior to 4pm
3 Day before Race Day
[after acceptances close]
Prior to 2:50pm

By Racing Victoria
Post 3pm and prior to 4pm
4 Race Day
[after acceptances close]
Prior to 6:50am

By Racing Victoria
Post 6:50am

Training Track Approval Forms
Training Track Approval Form