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    • Total Posts 167

    With the flat season once again upon us I’ve been trying to do some prep.

    From my experience one of the most important factors when weighing up a horses chance is course form, so what I have tried to do is group racecourses with similar characteristics together as shown below:

    Flat Galloping<br>Newmarket (RM)<br>Newmarket (July)<br>Doncaster<br>Yarmouth<br>York<br>Nottingham<br>Newbury<br>Ascot

    Testing Uphill finish<br>Chepstow<br>Sandown<br>Leicester<br>Pontefract

    <br>Tight and Undulating<br>Epsom<br>Brighton<br>Goodwood<br>Bath

    Tight and Flat<br>Beverley<br>Chester<br>Warwick<br>Windsor

    <br>This leaves the following courses  which I have never been to, hence they are mostly Northern Courses


    Can anyone give me any pointers as to particular characteristics of these courses, I’m happy to have some different categories than are shown above.

    Thanks <br>

    • Total Posts 4491

    Beverley has a stiff uphill finish.

    • Total Posts 27

    i always thought beverley had an uphill finish

    • Total Posts 3106

    <br>Er, Chepstow doesn’t have an uphill finish, more like the opposite, although there is a rise that ends about three furlongs out.


    • Total Posts 27

    yes lets move chepstow to undulating!

    • Total Posts 143


    I’ve been to most on your list so here’s my ten pen’orth as to where they would fit in your cattegories.

    Ayr – Flat Galloping<br>Carlisle – Testing uphill finish<br>Catterick – Tight undulating<br>Folkestone – Tight flat <br>Hamilton – Testing uphill finish<br>Haydock – Flat Galloping<br>Kempton – Allweather<br>Mussleburgh – Tight flat<br>Newcastle – Flat Galloping<br>Redcar – Flat Galloping<br>Ripon – Flat Galloping<br>Salisbury – Tight undulating<br>Thirsk – Tight flat

    • Total Posts 27

    newcastle not uphill then?

    • Total Posts 3420

    I thought Ripon was pretty undulating?. Looked that way when i was there (might have been the guniess)

    Thrisk is a funny one. Sometimes said that certain horses do not take to the place. No idea why…but would be curious to know

    • Total Posts 27

    maybe they are southern horses and find the place terribly down at heel !

    • Total Posts 1137

    Hamilton’s a bizarre course that has different qualities depending on the distance being run at.

    The sprint course starts off downhill, but rises around 2f or 2.5f out to be quite a steep finish.

    The middle distances go uphill round a "spoon", before turning into the straight course.

    The longer distances head up the straight course (but in the opposite direction) and come back down after going around the spoon.  

    Af for the spoon, it’s quite tight and, basically, you don’t  get much overtaking on it (particularly when going uphill).

    Musselburgh is flat and tight. However, the "straight" course isnt straight and has a signifcant "kink" in it.

    Ayr’s usually described as flat, but it’s not.

    This is particularly noticable over the jumps as there are obstacles on the downhill stretch which leads into the home turn.

    I’ve not been to the course for a couple of years, but I’ve got a feeling there is a rise to the fonish line when the horses come round the final turn.

    However, if this is true (and it might not be), it would affect the straight course. However, if there is a rise, it’s not significant.


    • Total Posts 15

    Ripon is a very undulating track indeed…..

    • Total Posts 5124

    The straight at Newcastle is on the rise but not so stiff as the likes of Beverley or Carlisle

    Chester is a stamina test because horses have little opportunity to change their lead leg, being on the near-fore most of the time

    On the round course at Beverley the stiff finish of the home straight is amelioratred to an extent by the downhill bend out of the back straight. Jockeys such as Darley who know the track well will rein back their horse for a breather from approx the 7f pole before the stamina test resumes on the turn into the home straight

    In 7f races it’s not unusual to see horses become unbalanced and go wide on the turn out of the back, paticularly those drawn badly (low) who go hell for leather from flag drop trying to secure a position near the inside rail. Hence the significant draw advantage horses drawn high have, especially habitual front runners.

    Don’t bother trying to form an idea of course configuration from two dimensional TV pictures; camera angles and height above the ground mislead.

    The RP’s course maps are useful.

    Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Nottingham racecourse is as flat as Lincolnshire. You’d think it would be fair to all runners, but there is a bias towards low drawn front/prominent runners for a reason I’ve never been able to establish. On most grounds.

    Beverley has a stiffer finish then Johnny Holmes in his heyday. Reminds me of a mini Towcester in some respects. Horses have to get the trip in question.

    • Total Posts 168

    This, in theory, is a very good and informative excercise. Now if only we could agree on the list.

    • Total Posts 1137

    Newmarket and Portman Park are almost idenitical, in terms of the thrill they provide the viewer.

    The difference being that, at Portman Park, you can actually see the action….

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