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Vic Minister Opens Ballarat Uphill Training Track
Victorian Racing Minister Dr Denis Napthine opened the new $2.4 million uphill training track at Ballarat's Dowling Forest racecourse & noted the 1400m synthetic track would provide "superior strength development" for horses at one of Victoria's major thoroughbred training centres. Napthine commented: "Dowling Forest is one of the state's top-tier provincial racecourses & as a major thoroughbred training centre, deserves the best infrastructure to give local trainers every opportunity to produce winning racehorses. The new straight synthetic track stretches over 1400m & uses the natural landscape to work its way up uphill following the topography of Mount Pisgah. It will provide strength training for thoroughbreds that could not be achieved on a traditional flat track & at 8m-wide, it can be used for both slow & fast work. This unique development complements other training facilities at the Dowling Forest racecourse, including the sand track internal to the main course." Ballarat Turf Club President Dr Ian Fulton said Mawsafe plastic running rails had been installed on both sides of the track "to improve safety for jockeys & horses" & noted: "Ballarat produces over 2,300 individual starters each year, the 5th-highest number in the state. It is therefore fitting that the Ballarat trainers using the Dowling Forest training centre have access to superior facilities & opportunities to develop the strength of their horses. Other features include a trainers' box at the 1000m mark, pull off points at 1200m, 1300m, 1400m & timed distance markers every 200m." Racing Victoria chief executive Bernard Saundry commented: "The uphill synthetic training track will be an invaluable asset for the Ballarat region, providing a world class all-weather training facility for 150 horses a day. Timing, communications and lighting systems have also been installed, complementing the Pro-Ride training surface."