February 26, 2007 at 12:42 #920bearMember
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So the plans are now confirmed.
There will be an increase in Flat meetings, and a reduction in NH meetings. There will be 3 tracks, 2 for Flat and one for NH. The NH track will be used for both chases and hurdles, with portable fences being wheeled on and off as necessary. Presumably this will mean chases being run as the first 2 or 3 races followed by hurdles and a bumper to round the day off, as is the case at the other track that uses all potable fences – Southwell.
Equine welfare is given as the reason for this! CRAP – the reason is purely financial – more flat meetings means more coach/hen/stag parties, which means bigger bar profits. What was once a great NH track where other than good quality jumpers need not apply, has sadly been turned into a glorified point-to-point track. Shame on them!February 26, 2007 at 13:33 #41379
A great shame.
I recall Gordon Richards (who knew a thing or two about chasers) saying words to the effect that if you had a young horse who showed an aptitude for chasing then it was far better to educate it at tracks with stiff fences than those with softer fences as the latter were more likely to lead to a poor jumping technique – ‘getting away with belting one’ – that is difficult to correct later. So the welfare issue is balls.
On the plus side the portable fences at Southwell aren’t ‘easy’ so assuming Haydock’s are similar it may still remain a fair test.
More Flat meetings, jaysus, they have more than enough there already.February 26, 2007 at 13:50 #41381Maxilon 5Member
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That is a shame – and a nonsense really.
The Haydock jumps meetings are amongst the best in the calendar. And conversely, the Haydock flat meetings are sometimes the most dull.February 26, 2007 at 16:30 #41382davidbradyMember
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Should the Betfair Chase be moved from Haydock if it is not genuinely interested in staging NH any more?February 26, 2007 at 17:10 #41383betlargeParticipant
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Twin Oaks will be spinning in his grave.
Unless he’s still alive in which case he’ll be mighty p*ssed off.
MikeFebruary 26, 2007 at 17:15 #41385LingfieldMember
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Another course apparently disinterested in jumping is Lingfield Park . Course would seem to prefer the AW, will have flat turf on sufferance but doesn’t seem too interested in jumping. <br>Many recent scheduled NH cards have been called off.<br>Probably has to maintain some jumping to appease the members, many of whom are traditionalists ,and who have complained about increased costs and the combined flat turf/AW cards which they saw as AW being inflicted on them by stealth.Explanation given by the course was that the flat turf wouldn’t stand too much racing.February 26, 2007 at 17:27 #41386
Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t Lingfield actually introduced – or re-introduced – more NH fixtures over the last few years.February 26, 2007 at 18:18 #41389runandskipMember
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ive always loved making the 320 mile round trip to go to haydock but i wont bother if this is the way they are going. <br>they should definatly lose the grade one betfair chase,they dont deserve it.<br>lets hope it goes to ascot or wetherby insteadFebruary 26, 2007 at 18:42 #41391AnonymousInactive
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Quote: from Drone on 5:27 pm on Feb. 26, 2007[br]Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t Lingfield actually introduced – or re-introduced – more NH fixtures over the last few years.<br>
Drone <br>I may also be wrong, but didn’t they abandon NH racing altogether at one time – only to re-introduce it to cream off some of Ascot’s displaced fixtures?February 26, 2007 at 19:46 #41392bearMember
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I have my doubts regarding the stiffness of the portable fences being used by Haydock. The last 3 fences down the back have already been bulldozed and this season have been replaced by 3 and on occasions 2 portables. The portables are significantly smaller in height than the originals and as such horses are tempted into "hurdling" them. They are able literally to "part the birch" and although umpteen horses have made mistakes I think I am right in saying that no horse has actually fallen at any of the new portables, although there have been many casualties at the original fences.
Whether this is as a result of portables followed by 7 original fences who am I to say. However, the idea of Haydock being a proper examination of steeplechasing is now confined to history.February 26, 2007 at 20:19 #41394The JudgeMember
- Total Posts 74
Where did you get this information from Bear?
I was aware that there was going to be a late start to the 2007/8 jump season at Haydock because of alterations to the flat track, but it would be a travesty if chases and hurdles were to be run on the same course permanently at Haydock.
Why would "equine welfare" be an issue in taking such a decision?
Having given the portable fences a season, I think that by sight they appear less imposing and that they have been more forgiving than their predecessors.
There is still a relative dearth of top quality jump racing in the north of England through the winter- Haydock should fly the flag as the premier dual-purpose course.February 26, 2007 at 20:53 #41396Irish StampMember
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Tommy Whittle, Edward Hamner, Tim Molony all would be spitting feathers at this.
Several of the Flat cards are boring whilst the NH one’s are amongst the best if not the best in the North – a Grade 1 and at least 7 or 8 other Graded races.February 26, 2007 at 21:03 #41397bluechariotMember
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It was in todays Post. David Ashforth did a course inspector feature and it came out well. I will be sad to see the famous drop fences a thing of the past.February 26, 2007 at 21:07 #41398
Quote: from reet hard on 6:42 pm on Feb. 26, 2007[br]
I may also be wrong, but didn’t they abandon NH racing altogether at one time – only to re-introduce it to cream off some of Ascot’s displaced fixtures?<br>
Just checked this. In the ’90s there were around 7 meetings annually which fell to 5 in ’99 folowed by 1 in ’00, 3 in ’01, none in ’02, and 2 in ’03. From then it returned to 5 (inc Ascot fixtures) and 7 were scheduled for this year, so it seems to have come full circle. Just how much abandonments affected those stats I don’t know.
Regarding Haydock: having recently posted on here my fervent support for them having the Betfair Chase, in light of this news serious doubts have set in. Wonder what Betfair themselves make of it?
Good observations from Bear.<br>
(Edited by Drone at 9:24 pm on Feb. 26, 2007)February 26, 2007 at 21:19 #41400Irish StampMember
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In all honesty i’d sooner see Haydock go 100% jumps than lose the Betfair Chase. It’s one of only 3 Grade 1 3m Chases (King George and Gold Cup the other two) held in Great Britain.
The Sprint Cup seems to lack what i’d call genuine support from top trainers – it’s considered an after-thought to the Nunthorpe and July Cup.
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