Monday, 18 May 2020

Maintaining the Standards

With not much happening in terms of sport these days, you could be forgiven in thinking that venues that hold such events have been locked up for the last numbers of weeks due to this current Covid-19 pandemic. Far from it, while the events have come to a stop and in some cases not even started, the work still goes on behind the closed doors. Grass still grows, weeds still have to be gotten rid of, walls need painting and all those jobs that have been put on the long finger have to be sorted in time for when things do get back to normal. What the norm will be when it does come back remains to be seen.

A member of the racecourse staff maintains the track during the lockdown. Photo: Barry Cregg.

County Kildare is rich in equine venues like the Curragh, Punchestown and Naas all holding race meetings throughout the year. I took a trip to Naas Racecourse and got to see firsthand how well the facility looked and how well the staff there headed by head groundsman Roy Butler have kept it that way during the lockdown.

A member of the racecourse staff maintains the track during the lockdown. Photo: Barry Cregg.

While the track does not hold the bigh festivals like its neighbouring Punchestown and Curragh it has started to attract Grade 1 races. It is also a track used by trainers to run out their horses on non race days ahead of Cheltenham. Long gone is the dreary old fashioned and run down racecourse it once was and this new look facility is going to grow bigger in the near future.

A view from the exit of the first bend. Photo: Barry Cregg
A view  from the back straight. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A member of the racecourse staff maintains the track during the lockdown. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A minimum of six inches height  of grass has to be kept at all times on the track for racing. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Av view of the 'Circle'  at  Naas racecourse. Photo: Barry Cregg.

With significant investment put into the racecourse in recent years which included new stables, track maintenance equipment, playground and feature building 'The Circle' it is vital to keep up the high standards that racegoers find when they attend a meeting at the course even during the lockdown.

Track fencing has to be dismantled along the entire course each time the grass has to be cut. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Naas racecourse has a water system piped along the outside of the track that can be connected into by staff with the watering treatment systems (of which they have three) in separate points along the course. This aids the growth of the grass during the year and helps provide a the best ground for meeting during the year especially during the summer months.

A view of the water systems aiding the growth on the course. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A  member  of course staff mows the main furlong and a view of the entrance  to the main furlong. Photos: Barry Cregg.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020


I am trying out a new venture along with with plans to setup motorsport memorabilia in the next few weeks. 

With the season on hold for the time being, here is a chance to purchase a sticker for the toolbox, car, truck, van or the bedroom window like many a young racing fan had in years gone by. It is also a chance to help promote your class on trips to races or even in everyday traffic. 

This is the first phase of the venture, a 7 x 5 size sticker  with future plans of mugs, t-shirts and other items to choose from. They are €2.50 and if you would like any feel free to contact me