FLEMINGTON trainers have had a gutful of the track they are supposed to prepare their horses on.
Punters have had a gutful of trying to work out how the track will play when the ratings they are given appear to be wrong on both times and the naked eye.
The Victoria Racing Club denies there is a major problem.
But if you ask people around the track they’ll say the VRC only cares about the track being in good condition for the spring and, to a lesser extent, autumn.
Following Tuesday’s story where we tried to talk to Danny O’Brien – a trainer who had been previously critical of the Flemington surface – it became clear that trainers at Flemington were no longer prepared to go on the record to view their thoughts on the track.
But we did manage to speak to one trainer who was happy to tell Melbourne Racing readers what he thought the problem was, on the condition of anonymity.
“To put it in simple terms, there is no kikuyu grass in the track's profile," he said.
“There used to be, but after Shocking won the Australian Cup in 2010 they tampered with the track and tried to introduce more rye grass.
“Rye grass stays green in the winter, whereas the kikuyu grass goes yellow in the winter and the VRC committee don’t like the aesthetics of a yellow track.”
The trainer said he and his peers at Flemington had been butting heads with the VRC and the track manager for the last couple of years, but the issue didn’t go public until O’Brien made negative comments via Twitter and the media last month.
“When Danny spoke up we thought they would have to try and address the problem but they just went about business as usual,” the trainer said.
“To be honest, the track needs to be redone because without kikuyu grass it’s just going to fall apart each winter.
“It does improve as it gets warmer, but even last spring carnival they were getting right off the fence at Flemington.
“That’s not what we want and it’s not what the punters want.”