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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Musselburgh unveil hybrid surfaceHeadlines
Musselburgh

There will be a distinct difference to Musselburgh's National Hunt track when it reopens for business on Thursday with a new strip of fibresand replacing a worn section of turf.

Ground around the winning post bend had become badly worn and the East Lothian venue invested heavily by installing a hybrid strip to improve safety.

Due to excess wear and tear, the ground had become loose but the new strip has already had the thumbs up from Brian Hughes, Brian Harding and Lucy Alexander, who tested it out recently.

"It's a sizeable investment for a course our size, but we are always looking for ways to improve the quality of the racing surface at Musselburgh," said general manager Bill Farnsworth.

"The winning post bend is tight and quite narrow and as the jump season progresses the turf gets badly damaged, to the extent that by February there is not a lot of grass left, especially in a wet year.

"This hybrid of turf and artificial surface is an innovative way of dealing with that problem and greatly improves conditions which reduce the risk of injury to both horse and rider."

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