Al Bahathri Newmarket gallop scheduled to be back in operation after Christmas
The popular Al Bahathri Polytrack gallop in Newmarket is expected to be open for the first time in nearly two months after Christmas following the completion of a £500,000 refurbishment scheme.
The mile-long facility was the first all-weather gallop to be laid at headquarters when installed in 1985 and has been used for routine preparation by all the big trainers over the years, such as Sir Henry Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden, and Godolphin's handlers.
The facility was closed on October 31 to facilitate the works, which were to level off a dip near the six-furlong pole which had proved problematic on occasions and for which 2,000 tons of soil was shipped in. In addition, the whole gallop, which can be used by as many as 1,000 horses on some work days, was resurfaced.
The closure had hampered local trainers' winter all-weather operations, although Jockey Club Estates had opened a grass gallop on Long Hill to mitigate the issue.
JCE spokesman Colin Driver said: "We're hoping to have the Al Bahathri open again before the new year after the completion of the works, which were to tackle a dip near the six-furlong pole.
"The gallop is now a steady climb rather than being undulating as before in this area and it has altered its profile significantly. The works ran to schedule on the whole and it was a big job with over 2,000 tons of soil needed."
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