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National Hunt 4-5yo weight allowances

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    This was bound to happen.. Mr Nicholls and King have made good use of this over the last couple of seasons and given the current trends its certainly not a surprise.. If another three year old wins the Arc this year I could see them looking at flat weights as well..

    • Total Posts 3089

    <br>The change is that the allowances in chases now reduce by 1lb every two weeks, instead of the current 1lb per month.

    A key effect will be that 5-y-olds will now run at level weights with older horses in the Arkle.

    Long overdue, but still means that chasers get weight allowances that don’t exist for hurdlers of the same age, which doesn’t make much sense.


    • Total Posts 1665

    Fair enough, I suppose, but I don’t think it’ll have much effect on the volume of imports from France.

    It’s not much of a compliment to UK and Irish breeders, who don’t seem able to produce these earlier-maturing jumpers – it’s either flat types or slow-developing stores, with not much in between.

    The hurdling division is a bit different, the flat-bred horses are more or less on an equal footing with young French hurdlers.

    • Total Posts 138

    A big difference between French and UK NH racing is that the French have a major program of races for three year olds compared to a limited one in this country. Either as a result of that, or because that’s just the way the French train, French horses are trained hard from an early age. If they are tough enough they survive the process, but whether or not that means they burn out earlier than GB trained horses, personally wouldn’t know.

    Another factor is that not all French jumpers are pure thoroughbreds. Selle  Francais horses are basically thoroughbreds crossed with regional breeds, I suppose to introduce hardiness. A number of French jumpers are Anglo-Arabs, Azertyuiop being a notable example of a succesful import to the UK from that breed – according to an article in  the March issue of Pacemaker.

    Suppose that if an owner/trainer has the money to buy a French bred horse that has survived their training  process and shown ability on the track, that’s  gives a reasonable chance he or she will do better in Novice, etc races than a tradititional GB store.And if he/she doesn’t burn out too quickly, go on to do well.


    • Total Posts 1593

    Good chasers are getting younger and younger, so I think this was always going to happen one day, although I’m a bit surprised it’s come so quickly.

    I’m not sure about scrapping them for 4-y-o’s. They are generally in need of a little help, and by the time the big chases come round they’ll be 5 anyway.

    • Total Posts 529

    <br>Nicholls is particularly scathing of the new ruling in his column on Teletext tonight.

    He argues that the allowances were open to any trainer that had a 4 or 5yo so why not just get on with it. He also states that Flagship Uberalles was from Ireland so it wasn’t just the french-breds that we reaping the rewards…

    • Total Posts 121

    If we are in the business of playing around with the weight-for-age scale to produce the ‘right’ results, could we see it amended so five year old hurdlers have an allowance in the Champion and Stayers’ Hurdles?

    (Edited by Kifill at 5:09 pm on April 7, 2007)

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