December 14, 2020 at 17:52 #1514220Cork All StarParticipant
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Just read that Southwell is getting rid of the Fibresand and moving to Tapeta, like Wolverhampton and Newcastle.
I can see why it makes business sense but a little bit of me will miss the fibresand. It may not have been pretty but it did produce specialists and I quite liked betting on the racing there.December 14, 2020 at 20:57 #1514230CavParticipant
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Sad that its going after so long, but understandable, particularly in the current economic climate. An unconventional surface, catering to low grade horses, that attracts field sizes that average less than eight, every year the last ten, was probably always on borrowed time.
Its a lovely configuration with those big sweeping bends and long run-in, which should attract some good horses to the new surface.
Wonder will it effect the quality of maiden and novice races at Newcastle though, which has attracted a cohort of subsequently high class horses, now that southern trainers dont need to venture so far north?
Good luck to the new Southwell.December 15, 2020 at 08:19 #1514263shipithollabollaBlocked
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A shame from a punting point of view and sad to lose a bit of variation, but have to agree with Cav. Makes you wonder how they hung onto fibresand for so long when you look at it like that.
I wonder if we could redress the AW/turf balance a bit now and put in a new dirt or fibresand surface on a few of the turf tracks. Yarmouth or Musselburgh maybe? Would love to see it.December 15, 2020 at 17:57 #1514309sporting samParticipant
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What a shame. Great surface. Why not improve the turf as a matter of urgency?
It has a surface which benefits a type of horse and positive tactics. Once it is the same as any another track then it will have to compete for the same trainers and type of horse … Would it survive without a usp?December 21, 2020 at 14:12 #1514861Blackcountry KidParticipant
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Can’t say I’m surprised by the decision as in my opinion this change is long overdue to what’s probably the fairest surface for horses to race on.While fibresand is quite like nothing else it was always going to keep away the better horses from the ‘big battalions’ and I now believe providing the switch is successful and proved safe for horse & jockey they could see many more visits from larger stables bringing 2yo’s & maidens to the track.
One of the problems Southwell faced with fibresand was a ‘class barrier’ in that the higher a horse progressed up the handicap the fewer chances it had on the surface thus was forced to migrate to other venues.Whether this will persist is impossible to say but I do think given the right sponsorship the track will move forward into a new era.
good luck to allDecember 22, 2020 at 19:03 #1514977tbracingParticipant
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Mixed feelings on this. Can understand why they have done it but from a punting perspective I am disappointed. Always found Southwell a great betting medium, breeding often plays a strong part in horses in performing there and specialists if you can find them early can be a good source of profit.
The track configuration will undoubtedly attract good yards to the course, a big fair galloping course with a straight 5f will provide good opportunity for newcomers especially. Hopefully their changes are supported by the training ranks and proves a good move.February 2, 2021 at 21:23 #1521013
The moment the Southwell surface switch was announced, I thought this might spell the beginning of the end of Wolverhampton. Anyone else?
Three other AS courses in the ARC portfolio to absorb Wolvo’s fixtures, two with a straight course that Wolvo doesn’t offer and two using Tapeta or about to. It adds up.
The new Southwell surface needs to prove itself capable of withstanding the inevitable much higher usage.
Assuming it answers those questions of it affirmatively, however, and that the site’s previous flooding issues have been fixed for good, the end for Wolvo isn’t hard to imagine.
That’ll sadden me, as in its previous dual-purpose form it was the venue of the first race meeting I ever went to, back in March 1983. It’s also the AS track I’ve fared best at punting-wise over the years, and I doubt I’m alone in that.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.February 3, 2021 at 13:24 #1521096Blackcountry KidParticipant
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The thought that the switch at Southwell would affect Dunstall Park adversely did cross my mind and from a personal point of view as it’s my local track I hope not.However given it’s patronage,the onsite hotel and the fact quite a few from across the Irish sea see fit to bring their charges over I’m hopeful a place can be found within the fixture list for this course.For those who are yet to visit I can tell you that the facilities are good for the grade which also has a restaurant with a panoramic view of the course so if you wish one can never have to leave your table.
good luck to allFebruary 3, 2021 at 14:38 #1521119
I would certainly mourn Wolverhampton’s passing were it to come to that, and the arguments you’ve raised for its retention are certainly strong. I can vouch for the decent facilities, too – not yet three decades old, so spring chickens compared to those of many of its peers.
I suppose the worries are that ARC have already shown their true colours where closing racecourses for housing development opportunities are concerned, and of that course bits of the site were already being sold off for non-racing purposes six years before ARC even hoved into view. Fundamentally, and perhaps worryingly, it’s a lucrative-looking site in an urban setting.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.February 3, 2021 at 14:58 #1521126paulostermeyerParticipant
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Wolverhampton (in the days when punters were allowed) was very much a Jekyll and Hyde Course.
On a winter Monday afternoon it could be the most depressing, desolate place on earth.
Move to a Saturday evening meeting and it’s a different place – alive and vibrant and I can thoroughly recommend the restaurant – arguably amongst the best viewing of any racecourse restaurant in the UK (bar Kempton or Cheltenham)February 3, 2021 at 15:22 #1521135
I’m guessing it didn’t lure you away from the likes of Plumpton on too many winter Mondays during your ORS days, Paul!
It felt like I was making up about 2% of the paying audience on the day of its first jumpers’ bumper fixture almost exactly eight years ago. But, y’know, it was a clear, bright winter’s afternoon with some fine sport and lots of friendly faces; and until they ruined it with a second such fixture last year, I could legitimately claim to have seen all of the jumps racing held under Rules at Dunstall Park since 2002.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.February 3, 2021 at 15:33 #1521137Cork All StarParticipant
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I have always enjoyed going to Wolverhampton, especially on quiet Mondays! I do not really like large crowds. And there are some very good pubs back in the city to celebrate or drown your sorrows.
I hope the track does not close but I can see why people are thinking it might. It would be a shame to lose a track where some of the all time greats have performed when it still had turf racing. But I suppose closures are inevitable in the post Covid world and the site must be worth a pretty penny in real estate value.
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