The dual-purpose track at Ffos Las Racecourse in Carmarthenshire stages Flat meetings throughout the summer months and National Hunt meetings for the rest of the year. The challenge of keeping the track fit for the year-round schedule falls to Estate Manager and Clerk of the Course, Dai Jones. For Dai, the combination of Masterline PM79 and Johnson’s J Nitro 4Turf is the odds-on favourite for delivering hard-wearing, quick-recovery surfaces even under the most challenging of conditions.
Formally the site of an open cast coal mine, the location of the Ffos Las course leaves them exposed to strong south-westerly sea winds which, when combined with multiple years of heavy rainfall on the trot, causes challenging ground and growing conditions. “DLF worked in close counsel with the contractors throughout the construction process” explains Dai, who has been at the venue for two years. “They recommended the ProMaster 79 mixture from Masterline which was used to get the course ready for opening in 2009 and has continued to work well for us ever since.”
“With over 65 inches of rain falling here last year, I sat down with our local DLF Regional Technical Manager Ian Barnett to look at some alternative mixtures that would help to give some additional strength to some of the hardest hit areas.” They opted for ProNitro coated J Nitro 4Turf from Johnsons Sports Seed. 4Turf tetraploid rye ensures exceptional disease resistance and very rapid germination even at soil temperatures as low as 3oC. Its deep-rooted quality makes it ideal for the high wear requirements associated with equestrian use.
The J Nitro 4Turf gives Dai and the team a mixture for divot repair and overseeding that delivers reliable results for racing throughout the challenging winter months. “We used this on the take-off and landing sides of the fences, the hurdles and the bends through the winter months and found it to establish well even in the cold and wet. The root growth is tremendous giving us great hardiness and wear tolerance.”
He concludes, “We’ve now got a combination that is really well suited to our conditions. Through the summer we get strong recovery, great colour and healthy surfaces for racing with the PM79 mix. We can now sustain this when the ground softens, with J Nitro 4Turf giving us that extra boost.”