Meydan latest track to switch back to dirt

Following in the recent path to move away from synthetic surfaces, officials with Meydan Racecourse in Dubai confirmed Wednesday the track would be removing its Tapeta surface and going back to a dirt track in time for the 2014-15 racing season.

“This is a decision that will be best for the future of Meydan racing and the Dubai World Cup Carnival,” Saeed H. Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of the Meydan Group said in a statement. “In the coming year we will celebrate the 20th running of the Dubai World Cup and the track will be the natural surface that proved so successful during the first 14 years of this magnificent race day.”

Meydan debuted in March 2010 with an all-weather track in place of a dirt surface that had been in place at Nad Al Sheba, which had been the previous home to the Dubai racing carnival and the Dubai World Cup card. Since going to the Tapeta surface, American participation in the $10 million Dubai World Cup and its undercard races have declined significantly.

Meydan’s announcement comes on the heels of Keeneland also declaring it would remove its Polytrack surface and go back to dirt in time for its 2014 Fall Meet. Del Mar in California is also doing away with its synthetic track and going to dirt in time for the 2015 season.