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National Hunt Racing seasons, should we have a break?

Home Forums Horse Racing National Hunt Racing seasons, should we have a break?

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  • #6288
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    I would like too see at the end of April at least one month break, with a seperate summer season starting in June and and ending on the last day in October.

    Thus meaning that a seperate festivals could be established for summer national hunt horses, also giving the staff a months break.

    Having owned shares in Juvinile novice hurdlers I am would not cry at all too see their season begin in october or November, many of the winners of the raves in july and august do next too nothing too my mind.

    Also i would like too see if the Irish at Dundalk will give their inner course a try at running a hurdle race or two too see if polytrack is suitable for national racing bar the bumper. As a regular at weatherby i hear rumors of a polytrack being installed in a year or so, will we see alweather jumping return?

    As for point too points, for those hunting people who are prepared leave our native wildlife alone, I propose the season too start in October or November and end in June or July.

    Fist of Fury 2k8
    • Total Posts 2930

    They should stick 6 flights of hurdles up at Epsom and make the Derby more interesting ……… :lol:

    • Total Posts 6965

    I’m not sure this is especially workable.

    Presumably were May to be rid of its jumps fixtures as suggested, the many jumps meetings scheduled during it would have to be absorbed elsewhere into the season. In the case of those courses not on the summer jumping roster, that is likely to mean moving fixtures back into winter, risking exacting greater damage to ground likely to be already the worse for wear from being pounded during the muddier months.

    Fontwell races three times in May, for example, and Uttoxeter four times. The latter course is authorised to run thoughout the summer and could spread the load, but Fontwell stops in June and could not. Anyone remembering the state of Fontwell’s going during parts of the 2005-6 campaign will appreciate why moving fixtures at the Sussex venue forward again is not desirable.

    If the May ban included the Whitsun holiday, then half of Cartmel’s six fixtures are displaced at a stroke. As running over Bank Holidays is of paramount importance to the survival of the course, one would have to fear for it in such circumstances.

    It would also exact wholesale upheaval on the hunter chase sphere, May being the month in which all the assorted hunter chase series finals are contested.

    The proposed final date of the season, the last day in October, would make less sense in terms of ringfencing certain events in or out than the current end of April. As it stands, only the Swinton Hurdle is left a bit out on a limb; thereafter two months pass until the Summer National, another fortnight after that until the Summer Plate and Summer Hurdle. That seems to make more sense than imposing an end date which obliges October’s highlights, such as the Free Hurdle (as was), the Old Roan Chase and in certain years the Charlie Hall Chase and Yorkshire Hurdle as well, to be regarded in the context of the previous season.

    I have no objection to the juvenile novice hurdle season starting in June as it now does; however, as most of these races essentially constitute desperation stakes for Flat horses with whom connections have now run out of ideas, maybe there is a case for running all of them as juvenile sellers until around August with perhaps one or two exceptions (e.g. a cash-enriched juvenile at the Summer Plate meeting).

    The Dundalk hurdle idea is a fair one – technology in regard of both artificial surfaces and portable obstacles has developed markedly since the "radiators from space" were banished from British racecourses in March 1994, and the time seems right to try to revisit the concept of all-weather jumping in a small, tentative manner, using fixed brushes rather than any plastic abberation.


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

    • Total Posts 4822

    Just checked National Hunt fixtures for 2007.
    They raced just 276 days in the UK last race, that’s almost 3 months (obviously not consecutively) without any jumps racing.
    As was pointed out on another thread it needs to be spread out to give courses time to recover particularly in the winter, but on that program I wouldn’t think a 1 month break at any time of the year would be necessary.

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