August 1, 2007 at 10:34 #4771robnorthParticipant
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The hurdle in the back straight was omitted again at Perth yesterday evening. Assuming this is because of false ground, it seems to me that it would make sense just to move the position of this hurdle, there’s plenty of room in the back straight.
A similar thought occurred to me at Kelso, where the two hurdles are sometimes missed out in the straight when the sun is low. It seems that if such conditions threaten then two hurdles could be placed down the side of the course, before the turn, with one in the straight, so that only one need be omitted. This wouldn’t change the number of hurdles jumped in any races. In effect there might be a ‘Winter Layout’ and ‘Autumn/Spring Layout’. Some hurdle races at Kelso have been reduced to glorified flat races, 6 hurdles jumped in a 2m 6f race for instance.
If the courses are holding jump racing then I would say the onus is on the racecourse to make every effort to provide the standard number of obstacles, with hurdles it’s 4 per mile.
Does anyone know if there are rules preventing re-arrangements of the course layout?
RobAugust 1, 2007 at 10:38 #109988seabirdParticipant
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Don’t thinks so Rob, I have ceratinly been at Chepstow when the final hurdle has been sited in different places.
ColinAugust 1, 2007 at 10:51 #109989graysonscolumnParticipant
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Market Rasen would be another course in which the siting of the hurdles, particularly in the home straight, is something of a movable feast.
Rob’s basically correct – why have jumps races if not to jump obstacles? I’m not sure how practicable moving of obstacles is at all tracks, though, especially the sharper circuits where there can be relatively few places to attain this without compelling animals to approach / jump those obstacles unbalanced. Perth’s trapezium-shaped layout would probably accommodate this in either of its two straights, but you’d struggle to pull off the same trick at a Cartmel or Fakenham.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.August 1, 2007 at 22:16 #110066
Rather than move the hurdles we should get some proper old time jockeys! The low sun argument is a modern invention.August 4, 2007 at 23:33 #110537KifillParticipant
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Surely if a racecourse is unable to stage a race over the regulation number of obstacles the meeting should either be abandoned or transferred to another course, as is the case when the course is waterlogged.August 4, 2007 at 23:56 #110539sberryMember
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Rather than move the hurdles we should get some proper old time jockeys! The low sun argument is a modern invention.
more global warming tosh (that should pass the official censor) no doubt inspired by over zealous liberal clerks of the course and safety officersAugust 5, 2007 at 10:51 #110565
I’m sure the safety officers with their big boots, dayglow jackets and radios have a part to play in this madness but I was at the start of a race at Kelso last year and it was very interesting to see the wimp jockeys complaining to the starter about the low sun.August 5, 2007 at 11:01 #110571seabirdParticipant
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Jump jockeys wimps????…….perhaps compared to some of the madmen who have ridden in the past but they probably have more imagination than their predecessors.
I suggest that even today’s wimps are a little tougher than your usual man, or woman, in the street.
ColinAugust 6, 2007 at 08:13 #110657robnorthParticipant
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The issue of whether or not today’s jockeys are braver than those of yesteryear, or indeed if those of yesteryear were more fool hardy, is largely a ‘red herring’.
My point was that there must be scope within the rules to adjust courses to allow for quirks of the conditions. I take Jeremy’s point that at some venues it’s very difficult. However there must surely be some duty to provide a full set of obstacles wherever possible.
RobAugust 6, 2007 at 12:40 #110684aphardyMember
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I always thought that the low sun thing was a bit weak, but having driven round the M25 into the incredibly low sun on Saturday, I changed my mind. Especially when a bus driver decided that as he couldn’t see anything either he’d swerve violently from side to side.August 6, 2007 at 12:46 #110685
The opinion of the jockeys cannot be described as a red herring when it is their complaints to the officials that results in the hurdles being omitted.
I can’t image the likes of Ron Barry or any number of proper jockeys from his era being such a wimp as to complain about the sun. Its a modern PC mad fashion.
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