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Dundalk to make more of surface

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Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile

Resurfacing work is reported to be going well at Dundalk, Ireland's only all-weather track.

Subject to a resumption of racing in Ireland, Dundalk's next official fixture is scheduled for July 12, and the County Louth venue could feasibly have an increased role to play as the year goes on if the Flat season is extended.

Dundalk chief executive Jim Martin said: "We said that we would have it done by June 15 and are well on target for that so we can race on July 12. The month before starting racing here again will give everyone the chance to have a look and to have trial runs.

"This is the time of the year to get work done on all-weather tracks. It's more pliable in the heat and easier to manage. It's also easier to work longer days with the light."

The Polytrack was opened at Dundalk in 2007, and remedial work carried out in August last year proved well received.

"We put 54 tons of fibre on the surface and everyone was very happy," added Martin. "We had a record number of runners per race after the work was done, and when you see Aidan (O'Brien) coming to gallop Group One horses and Derby winners it speaks for itself."

A decision to replace the surface had already been made prior to the remedial work, and Martin hopes more use can be made of Dundalk in the future.

"We have 38 fixtures in the year and are the least used all-weather track in the world."