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Southwells misfortune, a golden opportunity ??

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  • #4526
    madman marz
    Member
    • Total Posts 707

    Rather than spend millions on repairing the current fibresand surface, why not spend a bit extra, and remove the fibresand and put in a polytrack surface, we all know the polytrack attracts better quality horses which leads to better quality racing, which ultimately will lead to better attendance. Personaly I despair when Southwell is on, I very seldom have a bet there, usually just ignore it and move on to the next meeting on my RP. I know its very unfortunate what happened through the flooding, but I for one won’t miss it one bit.

    #106031
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17718

    I disagree strongly.
    A large part of the attraction of British racing is the myriad courses that are raced over, and unless we are to go down the sterile USA route of sameness in everything, Southwell is the last AW bastion for horses which prefer softer ground on turf.
    It is also a fairer test than the others in that its 10f circuit, straight 5f course, and 3.5f run-in on the round course allow stronger galloping types to feature more.
    Some very good horses have run on Southwell AW over the years, and it is poor prize money, rather than surface, that is to blame for their infrequency. Altering the surface would achieve nothing, imo.

    #106032
    Mounty
    Member
    • Total Posts 455

    Keep the Fibresand. We don’t need another random-racing Polytrack merry-go-round like Kempton!

    #106033
    non vintage
    Member
    • Total Posts 1268

    I see where you are coming from madman, but for me, it’s a bit like saying let’s get rid of heavy ground or firm ground.

    There are lots of different horses who have preferences for lots of different types of surface, and variety is (part of) the name of the game…

    There is a place for racing on a proper dirt surface – Southwell’s fibresand is much closer to a US-style dirt than polytrack in terms of which horses excel on it.

    Polytrack is fine and more horses are able to perform well on it, but (possibly due to its springiness) it tends to allow slower horses to keep up and limit the pace of quicker horses, resulting in the field being concertina’ed and finishing in a bit of a heap. It really suits ‘pouncers’ who settle well and can produce a short burst of speed on demand towards the end of their race.

    But just I don’t want to see wall-to-wall one mile handicaps, or three mile chases, or all ground being no faster than good, I don’t really want racing to favour one particular type of horse all of the time. Do we really want polytrack to be the only artificial surface?

    :?:

    #106038
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3106

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that proved to be the end of Southwell as an AW racecourse. The investment needed to get it up and running again, balanced against the risk of a repeat flood and the raised cost of insurance (even supposing they can obtain such a thing again), point to it being uneconomic for a business like Arena Leisure.

    If re-development of the land is ruled out, then perhaps it could revert to the turf only track that it used to be pre-Fibresand and retain their NH racing, plus a few flat meetings.

    AP

    #106040
    madman marz
    Member
    • Total Posts 707

    Guys I can see your points, but I for one will continue to avoid Southwell, its a graveyard for punters.
    Reet getting back to your point on American racing, I too like the diversity of British and Irish racing, but from a punters point of view, the Americans have a much more level playing field. There is very seldom any bunching as their races are usually more truly run, so trouble in running is very rare, where in British/Irish racing it is a regular occurence, even 3 & 4 runner races are not immune , also in America there is no ridiculous draw bias or extremes of ground that can make punting a nightmare for us. Yes their is certain tracks where you can eliminate half the field but when the ground becomes extreme the draw bias can vary drastically, even the notorious Beverley is impossible read this year (ground staff changes maybe ??).
    Now don’t go telling me to back in American racing as following the form proper is impossible unless we had their version of the RP on our shelves.

    #106043
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6939

    Rather than spend millions on repairing the current fibresand surface, why not spend a bit extra, and remove the fibresand and put in a polytrack surface, we all know the polytrack attracts better quality horses which leads to better quality racing, which ultimately will lead to better attendance. Personaly I dispair when Southwell is on, I very seldom have a bet there, usually just ignore it and move on to the next meeting on my RP. I know its very unfortunate what happened through the flooding, but I for one won’t miss it one bit.

    Several generalisations worthy of Jackane24 himself inamongst that lot, but suffice it to say that Reet and NV have hit all the nails on the head as to why Southwell has to retain the Fibresand.

    Take Tioga Gold’s record-breaking win from earlier this year out of the equation, and there is little reason to believe that Southwell constitutes as much of a head-scratch tipping-wise as you assert. Far from it: I distinctly remember one TRFfer – past or present, not sure whom – insisting that Southwell pre-race analysis was like shooting fish in a barrel, particularly if you concentrated on races full of exposed types whose ability or inabilty to handle Fibresand over (or as well as) Polytrack was well established. Indeed, whilst other distractions (i.e. jumps) mean that I only tip on Southwell’s Flat meetings spasmodically, I rarely finish down on the day there (I had one particularly successful day there tipping on a Banded card around this time last year, I seem to recall).

    I’m not sure I’d go as far as Reet in decrying it as "stale", but certainly the sameness of US racing is as much its key strength as it is its key weakness.

    gc

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

    #106045
    dandan
    Member
    • Total Posts 199

    Might have been me who said that, Grayson, might not.

    Southwell A.W. meetings are my favourite from a punting point of view. I’ve made a fortune from it in the past few years and I for one would be sad to see it go. I always really enjoy the racing there.

    #106046
    Kingston Town
    Member
    • Total Posts 1049

    We’re just putting in a 1000m track with poly and another 1000m with tapeta – seeing which one goes the best.
    They are leaning I think to poly because it ‘looks like’ it will drain better and no one gets more rain than we do.
    Once they have worked out which one they’ll replace the fibresand – which is literally a killer here.
    What are the thoughts here on drainage on these two tracks?

    #106047
    sberry
    Member
    • Total Posts 1801

    and some trainers just send their horses to southwell for two or three ‘runs’ to push the price out or the mark down … having a loser needn’t be bad for the bankroll …

    variety is the spice of life too, repair it

    #106052
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    We have enough AW racing with the other three tracks to provide action through the winter. I see the loss of Southwell AW as a step forward. We don’t need anymore success stories like Kempton AW. The bookmakers want and will contribute to the funding of more AW racing as an alternative to cartoon racing. Low grade racing at poorly attended courses with very weak, easily manipulated markets, exactly what they want.

    The current plan to have a floodlit AW track at Musselbugh cannot benefit any other party than the bookmakers. Commercially it is a non starter without bookmaker funding. What attendance can the management expect to obtain on an evening at Musselburgh in mid winter? Certainly not enough to cover costs.

    #106054
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6939

    We’re just putting in a 1000m track with poly and another 1000m with tapeta – seeing which one goes the best.
    They are leaning I think to poly because it ‘looks like’ it will drain better and no one gets more rain than we do.
    Once they have worked out which one they’ll replace the fibresand – which is literally a killer here.

    Interesting. You don’t tend to hear of Southwell AWT having much of an attrition rate horse-wise. What is it about Singapore that makes Fibresand lethal over there, KT – climate? Poor maintenance? Genuinely curious.

    gc

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

    #106055
    sberry
    Member
    • Total Posts 1801

    losing a racetrack a step forward ?

    that’s like saying NH racing would benefit from having the 50% of it’s races that are poor quality and not worth risking a horse on cancelled

    #106056
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6939

    Might have been me who said that, Grayson, might not.

    Southwell A.W. meetings are my favourite from a punting point of view. I’ve made a fortune from it in the past few years and I for one would be sad to see it go. I always really enjoy the racing there.

    Aha, Dan! You’re certainly one of about three people to whom I’d have attributed the statement. Glad to see you’re still posting post-revamp. How’s life?

    gc

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

    #106058
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    Losing the sand track at Southwell is a step forward in my book.

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