LEADING jockeys Steve Arnold and Dean Yendall will ride in trials at Dowling Forest Racecourse on Monday to test newly laid turf in readiness for a clockwise event on Ballarat Cup Day in November.
Turf specialists StrathAyr yesterday rolled out the grass to replace a dirt crossing on the turn past the traditional finishing post.
Having the area grassed and fit for racing is one of the conditions Ballarat Turf Club must meet before the $200,000 Magic Millions two-year-old feature can go ahead on Sunday, November 25.
The event is to be raced the reverse way of going ? the same as Queensland.
This means the horses will reach crossing just before turning into home straight.
The race has been designed to help prepare youngsters for the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast early in the new year.
BTC chief executive Lachlan McKenzie said four trials would be run over the new turf — two clockwise and two anti-clockwise.
He said former champion jockey and now trainer Patrick Payne, Jacob Rule, Christine Puls, John Allen and Erhan Kacmaz would also ride in the eight-horse fields.
McKenzie is confident there will be no issues.
Racing Victoria stewards and Victorian Kockeys' Association must approve the turf.
McKenzie said StrathAyr was highly experienced in this field and underwent a similar project at Moonee Valley each year to turf a crossing for Cox Plate Day. Once the trials are completed on Monday, the turf will be removed and nurtured by StrathAyr until it is required in November.