I was excited to read this morning on the Racing Post website that Chelmsford City is aiming to have a new turf track up and running by April 2019.
According to the site Chelmsford's chairman Joe Scanlon said: "What we intend to do over the winter is remove all the existing soil as it is unsuitable – drainage would then go in followed by new topsoil and then we would lay the turf. Once we start the work we are committed to finishing it. It is close to a £1.5 million project so we are not taking it on lightly."
Reportedly the turf that will be laid at Chelmsford is already being grown in Newmarket and will need to have been in place for a year before it can be raced upon meaning the track will need to be laid in April 2018. Come 2019 all being well they will be ready to go and of course this also opens up the opportunity of racing on turf under floodlights a new concept for the UK.
The plans for a new Grandstand incorporating a Casino, known in the States where a number of tracks have similar set-ups as a ‘Racinos’, are in the very early stages and described as ‘outline planning permission for the grandstand.’
My fingers are crossed they get it right and I look forward
to watching turf races in Essex in 2019.