Research & Development Programme

James Ewart


2017 Arc De Triomphe Winner Enable winning at Newcastle


Tapeta is a Thoroughbred Racing and Training surface comprised of a carefully selected mixture of the finest silica sand, wax and fibres that have been extensively researched and simulate the root structure of turf. Tapeta has been tried and tested in all climates at Training and Racetracks around the world. Tapeta handles wet weather and heavy rainfall extremely well.


The Tapeta Training track at James Ewart's yard in Scotland can receive over 100 inches of rain a year and has never lost a days training due to rainfall, while the Tapeta training track at Tapeta Farm in Maryland received over 11 inches of rain in 12 hours from Hurricane Floyd, again without interupting training. A Tapeta track copes with short heavy deluges as well as persistant rain over a long period very well.

Tapeta has been extensively praised by Racehorse Trainers and Racetrack Owners in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The consistency, safety and simplicity of Tapeta place it at the top of the world’s rankings and many of the world’s best Thoroughbred’s train and race on Tapeta. Among others to have all raced and or trained on Tapeta are racing superstars such as:

  • Da Hoss (Breeders Cup Mile 1996 & 1998)
  • Tapit (Wood Memorial Grade 1 2004)
  • Animal Kingdom (Dubai World Cup 2013)
  • Shared Belief (Multiple Graded Sakes 2013-2015)
  • Prince Bishop (Dubai World Cup 2015)
  • Jack Hobbs (Irish Derby 2015)
  • Enable (Winner of the Arc De Triomphe 2017)
  • Thunder Snow ($10m Dubai World Cup 2018)
  • Benbatle ($6m Dubai Turf 2018)

There are numerous examples of Champion Dirt racehorses training on Tapeta because of its kinder nature. The multiple Graded Stakes winner Shared Belief did most of his training on Tapeta. Immediately after he had won Grade 1 races at Santa Anita and Del Mar, he was on a van for an 8 hour journey back to Golden Gate Fields to train on Tapeta for his next race.

The USA sent 3 Grade 1 winning dirt horses to run in the Dubai World Cup in 2015 on dirt. They finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in exactly the same order you would expect them to finish if the race had been run at Santa Anita, but they were beaten by the 8 year old Prince Bishop who had never trained on the dirt in his life and had only trained on Tapeta.

Tapeta has also been used by the United States Eventing Team as part of their training for the Olympic Games.


Since the original Tapeta Racetracks were built at Presque Isle Downs and Golden Gate Fields in 2007, Tapeta Footings has continuously strived to improve the Tapeta surface. At the forefront of that research is the safety of both horse and rider.

A substantial research and development programme has been in place for over 20 years utilizing the Tapeta Farm training surface and laboratory. The current Tapeta version, Tapeta 10, is the result of 10 years of dedicated study of the impact of training Thoroughbred racehorses on surfaces around the world in many different climatic conditions.

Tapeta Footings continues to improve the Tapeta surface to make training and racing as safe as possible for the Thoroughbred racehorse. Our research will not stop at Tapeta 10 and we are currently working towards Tapeta 11. We encourage potential customers of Tapeta to visit Tapeta tracks and our Laboratory to witness our efforts to improve our surface.


Woodbine (Tapeta) .63%
All Synthetic Surfaces1.1%
Turf 1.36%
Dirt 1.74%

Source: USA Jockey Club Injury Database


Click here to read the recent article on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary
on the merits of Tapeta.