IS a ‘new’ track pattern forming at Royal Randwick?

Over the years, a ‘lane’ theory was developed based on the areas of the home straight that were deemed most advantageous.

Those ‘fast lanes’ existed from approximately 8-12 metres from the true rail position, and again from 16m to the outside fence. The inside 3-4 metres were deemed almost a no-go zone and the wetter the track, the more these patterns were accentuated.

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ROYAL RANDWICK SATURDAY

Track: Heavy 8, Rail True

Penetrometer: 6.07

Rainfall: 0.6mm last 24hrs, 35mm last 7 days

Irrigation: Nil

But in recent meetings punters have observed a number of winners coming up the inside, leading to questions over whether the bias is beginning to disappear.

Randwick track manager Nevesh Ramdhani told 12follow.com.au that recent track renovations could be behind the change in racing patterns.

“We’ve implemented an enhanced fertiliser program, and that’s helped not just the grass but also the soil profile in evening it out right across the track,” Ramdhani said.

“We’ve also been mowing it shorter and that’s helped make it a tighter knit surface which helps provide a good cushion for horse racing and also assists in the drying out of the track

“On top of that, in November after Melbourne Cup day we also embarked on a sand grooving renovation and that has also helped with the profile and has assisted with drainage as sand is one of the best ways to naturally drain any profile.”

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Two of the key pioneers of the Randwick lane theory were Vince Accardi from DailySectionals.com.au and Dallas Baker of The Punters Show.

Baker told 12follow.com.au that he and Accardi believe there is more to the changing race patterns than simply renovations on course.

He also emphasized that the relatively new phenomenon would require a much larger sample size than purely recent observation to become a solid new theory.

“While the lanes do seem to have softened, I’ve chatted with Vince and he has a bit to add to the mix,” Baker said.

“Most of the recent races at Randwick have been run at almost hurdle speed early off his data of almost 30 years with huge surges in the middle from roughly the 800m on.

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“This has the effect of tiring horses out and hence many are done and dusted with lead in their legs by the bend. This could be a reason why the inside runners have had an edge, especially on pace.

“But when there has been reasonable tempo, from Vince’s analysis, the lanes still seem to prevail.

“So this produces a bit of a conundrum; is it the race shapes that have led to what seems a changing of the state of play of Randwick, is it the work they’ve done, or something in between?

“Until we can get a good sample of races even run at even a slow speed, as opposed to the far less than that walks that have generally prevailed of late, it is hard to get a firm handle on whether the lanes are done or not.

“There is a factual reason why they could be with the work Nevesh and his team has done, but data-wise, in relation to race shape off Vince’s work which is second to none, it is still yet to be proven.”