AN 11-week recess in thoroughbred racing at Mowbray will ensure the track is in peak condition for the resumption of night racing in October.
Tasracing is using the break _ from August 4 until October 23 _ to undertake an extensive renovation and maintenance program.
Chief executive Dr Eliot Forbes said the planned works, which would take about eight weeks to complete subject to weather, were designed to optimise track performance.
``The track will be cored up to 10 times with three different machines,'' he said.
``It will then be overseeded and topdressed with 350 tonnes of sand, the same type of sand that was originally specified for the construction of the track.
``The track is also fertilised to address any deficiencies and left to grow up to the racing height of 125mm.''
While Mowbray is closed, thoroughbred racing is alternating between Elwick and Spreyton.
However, there is a push for more winter meetings to be programmed at the Spreyton synthetic track in future seasons, to give Elwick the same ``rest and recuperation'' period as Mowbray.
Dr Forbes said that night racing was such an important part of the Tasmanian calendar that it was vital to have Mowbray in peak condition.
``Night racing delivers a 27 per cent premium on total domestic (betting) turnover compared to Sunday day meetings,'' he said.
``The night races are also well supported by trainers, with average field sizes of 10.1 compared to 9.2 for Sunday meetings.''
Dr Forbes said that Tasmania also benefited from the expanded coverage of night racing on Sky Racing World.
``It has formed an important addition to the French import schedule and it has the potential to create further international export opportunities for Tasmania,'' he said.
Dr Forbes said the Mowbray track was also cored regularly throughout the racing season (up to 10 times) with specialised equipment that removed the cores at the same time.
``The life of a track and its performance is impacted by two processes _ the accumulation of organic matter _ which is laboratory-tested by Tasracing _ and compaction caused by horses' hooves,'' he said.
``Both organic matter and compaction will be addressed during this renovation period.''