Today’s card at Newcastle consists of 7 races on the straight course. I’m planning to go to the Bank Holiday fixture and I note the programme is similar. Does anyone know the reason for these cards being so? Is work being carried out on the round course?
Yes Phil, a bit of digging and I was able to expand on the answer to my own question.
James Armstrong, Newcastle Clerk of the Course amde the following comments on The Journal website:
‘Racing since Ladies Day has been run up and down the straight course. This is because we had planned some time ago to carry out some major drainage work on the back straight of the Flat course. Unfortunately this has been delayed and all the races programmed in July and August were planned only for the one-mile straight. Once the Racing Calendar, a document that is published and sent to all trainers, has gone to print, we cannot change any conditions or distances of races.
However, the good news is that we will be able to carry out some drainage work on the straight course in September, which should allow sufficient recovery before next year’s Flat season. Races between the 1m straight and 7f will be shelved to allow work to be carried out in the chute and races will be run over 6f or longer, including back on the round course.’
It would appear they aren’t carrying out any work yet but they are stuck with the race distances as programmed for the August meetings.