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Richard Dunwoody and an interesting Ascot theory

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    Richard Dunwoody’s latest TRF article unveils an intriguing Ascot theory.


    There is an interesting theory doing the rounds regarding Ascot’s large infield speaker, which is positioned about half a furlong from home.

    It has been noted by some intelligent members of the press (there are such people) that plenty of horses drift left, towards the stands’ rail, from around a furlong and a half out.

    Could it be that they shy away from the noise of the big speaker, which would be heard initially at around 1.5 furlongs from home?
    One horse running there last Friday drifted left at that point, then drifted back towards the right.

    What about the Royal meeting?

    In theory, the infield speaker is largely drowned out by crowd noise, which comes from both sides of the track, so horses don’t notice the noise from the speaker so much.

    It has also been pointed out that more horses run down the last fence at Ascot than they do at any other in the country, although this assessment cannot be confirmed without further investigation.

    When former champion jockey Ryan Moore was asked what impact, if any, the big speaker might have, he said: “It might. I’m not sure. You could say that the shadow of the stands, especially at this time of year, might play a part.”

    Nick Smith, Director of Communications at Ascot is nonplussed by the theory.

    He said: “We haven’t received comment or complaint from any jockeys or trainers. Workforce’s drift (in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes) seems to have been explained subsequently and I’m not sure, looking at Royal Ascot, that this happened at all.

    “The Heath speaker is actually much quieter on King George Day than at Royal Ascot anyway, for obvious reasons, and in any case it is never fully on these days as we have now attached conventional speakers to the stands. Therefore the sound comes from both sides.”

    I would be interested to see what others – particularly any jockeys or trainers – make of this theory.

    While it isn’t one of the bigger issues racing should be concerning itself with, it is worth keeping an eye on.

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    Id probably just put it down to the fact the horses come out onto track from under the stands and about half a furlong out is prob the first time these horses see the entrance and start hanging towards that point, much like they do on alot of tracks.

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