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  • #4936
    • Total Posts 151

    hi there,

    what did any of our all-weather experts make of the racing at Dundalk? how should we expect the racing to develop?

    some quick and simple observations:

    looks likely to be a low draw bias at distances up to a mile

    there didn’t seem to be much ‘play’ in the surface, difficult to come from behind, seemed to race more like fibresand

    interested to hear what people think


    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    I agree that it looked to be riding quite deep, but then the surface is quite likely to settle down and quicken up over the next few months, a la Kempton.

    I wouldn’t be drawing any firm conclusions about the draw just yet…

    • Total Posts 1922

    Dundalk looked good but was spoilt by the dull commentary of Des Scarhill they really need some fresh commentators in Ireland.

    • Total Posts 2081

    I was impressed.

    The main problem seemed to be that lots of horses were still in contention over 1f out and getting in each others’ way as they were not fanning out as much as they do on the AW courses over here. That may come in time, especially if the Clerk of The Course makes it happen by creating a "dead" rail.

    The effect of the draw and of pace is best judged by not just winners but also losers, and not just whether they win or lose but by how far they win or lose. And they are best judged in handicaps, in which, theoretically at least, differences in ability are not a major factor.

    We had horses drawn 13, 12 and 9 in 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the sprint handicap, a horse drawn 14 in 3rd in first division of the mile handicap, horses drawn 12, 11 and 13 in a close 4th, 5th and 6th in the second division and one from stall 14 in 4th (admittedly beaten a bit of a way) in the 1m 2f 150yd handicap. There may be an advantage to being drawn low, especially at 5f/6f and 10f 150yd, but I suspect it will be small and that it may be overplayed.

    A track can tend to favour a certain type of runner over time, but far and away the most important factor where pace biases are concerned is nearly always the pace of the specific race itself. Plenty of prominent finishers came from a bit off the pace. Plenty came from quite close to it.

    In terms of its configuration, the track resembles Southwell more than the other tracks (10f round, left-handed, flat, with 2.5f run-in) but obviously on a different surface.

    If the times on Sunday had been returned at Kempton (right-handed but flat and polytrack) instead then you would have been justified in calling it "slow" or "standard/slow" (the Clerk of The Course would have called it "standard" all the same).

    Interestingly, however, the times would not have been as slow as the times at the first few meetings at Kempton. Basically, the track there speeded up noticeably after a few meetings, and perhaps the same will happen on the polytrack at Dundalk.

    • Total Posts 6939

    Dundalk looked good but was spoilt by the dull commentary of Des Scarhill they really need some fresh commentators in Ireland.

    Agreed on the first point – if the first new racecourse in Ireland for ye long cannot elicit a more positive response from him, then what will? The – admittedly – punishing schedule of all these seven / eight race cards featuring wall-to-wall 20-30 runner races does finally seem to have soured him rather.

    Where there’s life there’s hope, though, Steve, and I trust the superior Jerry Hannon will continue to pick up meetings in Scahill’s stead as the latter winds down (or is wound down) in the coming years.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 151

    cheers for the insights

    • Total Posts 199

    I was there on behalf on an Irish racing paper, with instructions to scout the whole place out and check out the public reaction, facilities etc.

    -the course: I thought it rode very slow. I think stamina will be an important factor unless the ground quickens up. Raised my eyebrow when Emmpat won over ~10f. A few with form to suggest they would stay further than the trip they ran over performed well.

    -the place itself: Main restaurant looks fantastic and I’ll be booking a table there for a night of eating, boozing, gambling one Friday night soon – Friday nights should really see Dundalk come into its own. Some of the carparks and the infield etc need improvement – I hope they don’t rest on their laurels, some finishing touches are required. After you enter the Stadium, you can go anywhere you like – there is no reserve enclosure and only the Restaurant needs to be booked in advance – which is a nice touch. Aidan O’Brien walked right by me at the parade ring, which was pretty cool. No heirarchy.

    -the racing: good quality, and I reckon it’s universally supported by Ireland’s flat racing fraternity. Average of £150,000 prize money per meeting this year and two listed races, bodes very well. Possible Group race in ’08.

    -many people moaned about the lack of bookmakers, and moreso the lack of space in between the two rows of pitches. Bloody annoying trying to get a bet on immediately prior to the race.

    -prognosis: pretty good. Some stuff to work on but if they keep at it, the course has a big future.

    • Total Posts 669

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the TV racing from Dundalk. Let’s just hope the prizemoney remains decent.

    Is there consensus yet on which horses prefer Dundalk AW- I presume those who like some cut ?

    • Total Posts 2081

    I suspect it is similar to other polytrack surfaces (though still not quite so quick as Kempton).

    Arguably more effect of the draw than I had imagined, judged on % of rivals beaten in handicaps (average of stall in question and stall either side), though it is still early days.

    5f: stalls 9 and higher have done badly (only 3 races)
    6f: stalls 1 to 5 beat on average 59% of their rivals (6 races)
    7f: little apparent effect (8 races)
    8f: stalls 1 to 4 beat on average 55% of their rivals (13 races)
    10.7f: stalls 4 to 8 beat on average 56% of their rivals (10 races)
    12f: only one race

    You’d expect middle to be better than low at 10.7f given what a short run they have to the first bend.

    We saw last night the problems of getting a run up the inner in the straight, and it seems to me that a lot of horses have done well by being delivered wide, regardless of what draw they have started from.

    • Total Posts 2778

    I have refrained from getting involved there so far, mostly because of the bookie row and consequent high betting percentages. The Betfair markets are fairly weak and don’t compensate.
    One of the racecourse wallahs explained to me that they were looking for a one-off payment of €8000 for the right to bet there, as they knew that at least 5 of the top ten pitches by seniority were to be sold straight away by the incumbents for sums between €30 and€40k. For the racecourse to get a cut of that seems eminently reasonable to me. By failing to negotiate, the bookies may have opened a can of worms as people begin to realise how restrictive and outdated the current system of seniority is in Ireland’s betting rings.

    • Total Posts 96

    What are u on about carvill’s hill?

    If another company buys another one out it inherits it’s debts whether good or bad in addition to it’s obligations. By ignoring the seniority system, all this has done to illustrate what a 3 card trickster jim martin is.

    Ridiculous overrounds as u yourself have stated have only served to alienate proper punters and as a result turnover and attendances will be severely affected. Then again, perhaps a bunch of drunken northern yokels is what management prefer coming through their gates.

    • Total Posts 4012

    What a cheap shot at JImmy Martin who has worked for years to bring all weather racing to Dundalk.Racing can well do without such mudslingers.I wonder what have the bookies contributed to the battle to get approval to open this glorious track?

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