Wolverhampton: first racecourse in Britain to install Tapeta surfacePICTURE: attheraces.com
Tapeta to be installed at two British racecourses
MICHAEL DICKINSON'S Tapeta racing surface is to be introduced at two British racecourses after Arena Racing Company announced plans to install it at Wolverhampton and Newcastle.
Tapeta, which is used at Meydan racecourse in Dubai, was selected after what Arc described as an extensive consultation exercise to replace the all-weather surface at Wolverhampton, which has been under fire from trainers, jockeys and others.
Arc also said it would use Tapeta at Newcastle, which on Monday received approval from the BHA to participate in the 2015 fixture allocation process.
A press release from Arc stated that the new Tapeta formula would be a "sandy brown colour, as typically associated with all-weather racing".
The surface created by Dickinson, the former champion jumps trainer, is used at four racecourses and training tracks in ten countries. In addition to Meydan it is used at Golden Gate Fields, San Francisco and Presque Isle Downs, Pennsylvania in the USA; and Tapeta Park in Devonport, Tasmania.
Among those trainers with Tapeta gallops are Mark Johnston and James Ewart as well as Godolphin's training centres in Dubai and Newmarket.
Wolverhampton will host its last fixture on the current surface on Tuesday with the aim of having Tapeta installed in time to allow testing in July before racing resumes on August 11.
"We believe it is right time to bring a world-renowned surface like Tapeta to British racecourses for the first time," said Jim Allen, Arc's racing director.
"We remain absolutely committed to the existing Polytrack surface at Lingfield and Fibresand surface at Southwell, both of which have proved safe for horses and popular with trainers."
Dickinson, founder and owner of Tapeta Footings, said: "We are delighted Arc has chosen Tapeta to provide the new racing surface at Wolverhampton.
"Our entire team is made up of horsemen who have the horses and riders' best interests at heart. On a personal note I look forward to renewing my association with British racing."