Chelmsford: track was recently rewaxedPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Buick slams Chelmsford after first fixture back
WILLIAM BUICK has hit out at the state of Chelmsford's all-weather surface, despite the troubled track being rewaxed recently.
Chelmsford, which used to be known as Great Leighs and opened for business again in January, hosted its first meeting since June 18 on Tuesday night and attracted a healthy turnout of 73 horses for the seven races.
A recent trial on the Polytrack surface was largely positive, but after partnering the Charlie Appleby-trained Mansfield to finish seventh of nine in the 6f maiden, Buick said: "The kickback is just as bad as it was before. The track wants ripping up."
Champion jockey Richard Hughes, who had four rides and won the 1m2f handicap on Sarsted, was equally critical.
He said: "It's terrible. It's patchy, something all-weathers shouldn't be."
'It will take time'
Some riders' opinions differed with Andrea Atzeni saying: "It's slower than before and there is less kickback. It means you can ride a race rather than just trying to get to the front to avoid all the flying stuff as was the case before."
Silvestre de Sousa, who like Atzeni was successful on the card, added: "It's a bit dead. It will take time but it's slightly better than it was."
Phil Siers, managing director of Chelmsford, defended the track and said: "On the whole the jockeys have said it's riding a bit better, but we haven't tightened it up for our first meeting back and it will take time.
"In the end we'll do whatever we need to do to make it the best surface in Europe."