Racecourse parade rings are the sport's shop windows where punters pick out their fancy for the forthcoming race and connections greet their horse to celebrate a victory. Thus turf presentation has to be exceptional, and Leicester Racecourse is enjoying a winning performance from its Dennis G680 walk behind cylinder mower.
"We have used a variety of mowers in the past, but when the time came for a new machine last year, we did our homework and booked a series of demonstrations," explains Clerk of the Course Jimmy Stephenson.
His experienced team of groundsmen voted for the Dennis and the new machine arrived in autumn 2010.
"The sheer robustness and build quality of the Dennis was the main reason for our purchase," Jimmy comments. "It's a proper mower, and I like the fact that it is made by a local company with an established reputation for quality."
He was also impressed by the professional nature of the demonstration, since reflected in the service he has enjoyed from Dennis and his local dealer Outdoor Power Tools.
"The mower gives a clean, crisp cut even in the wet, which is essential with such a busy racing calendar - we need the paddock to look good every time."
The G680, which has a 68cm cut and a five blade cutting cylinder, also showed the versatility required, coping with banked areas and following the ground well due to its heavy construction.
"It has proved easy to adjust and very simple to operate, and is a high quality machine," says Jimmy. The low vibration handlebars and straightforward controls are a Dennis trademark, appreciated equally by the busy racecourse grounds team.
Under normal circumstances, the Dennis G680 is kept busy cutting up to three times a week, but the dry spring has limited grass growth this year, making the clean cut even more important to avoid any further stress to the sward.
"It has proved extremely reliable, but I was confident that it would stand up to the rigours of racecourse work due to its sturdy build and the thickness of the blades. Small stones and debris are easily flicked up into the turf from the pathways, so it is quite demanding on a cylinder mower."
Leceister Racecourse expects to keep the Dennis G680 for many years, and Jimmy says. "We do expect machines to last as we look after them well and they are regularly serviced. I am very confident that the Dennis will stand the test of time."
Dennis, Howardson Works, Ashbourne Road, Kirk Langley, Derby DE6 4NJ UK
Tel: +44 (0)1332 824777 - Fax: +44 (0)1332 824525 - www.dennisuk.com