The Dubai Racing Club announced on Friday that the new multi-billion-dollar Meydan Racecourse will install a Tapeta surface for its 1,800-meter training track.
Designed by trainer Michael Dickinson, Tapeta, which is Latin for “carpet,” consists of a wax-coated mixture of sand, fiber, and rubber. The surface currently is in use at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania, Golden Gate Fields in California, and Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
“Obviously, we are delighted,” Dickinson said. “It is a huge honor for Tapeta and we are very proud that we will be a small part in the most innovative and creative project racing has ever seen.”
Meydan Racecourse is part of a vast project envisioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that includes a 55,000 to 60,000-seat grandstand spanning one kilometer and Meydan City, a self-contained commercial and residential community near the racetrack. The 76-million-square-foot development is expected to debut during the 2010 Dubai World Cup meeting, replacing the event’s current site, Nad al Sheba.
”Safety of the animal was paramount in our selection and experience points to synthetic training and racing tracks reducing the number of injuries and prolonging the careers of the racehorse,” Dubai Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Frank Gabriel Jr. said. “We looked at all of the all weather surfaces around the world and while we recognized that each is very beneficial to the horse, we decided to go with Tapeta.”
In 2007, Tapeta Footings opened a satellite office in Dubai after installing the surface at Godolphin’s Al Quoz training center. Shiekh Mohammed’s racing operation also installed Tapeta at Godolphin’s training facility in Newmarket, England.