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The worst view in Racing

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    • Total Posts 1247

    A post on another thread about the best view , has got me thinking. Which racecourse provides the worst view for spectators ?. I will start the ball rolling by suggesting Cartmel. Although undoubtedly scenic , the track is constantly on the turn , has a hill and funfair in the middle of the track which further obstructs the view , and then a wood to top it off. Any thoughts ?

    • Total Posts 4914

    Best view at Cartmel is from the mound covering the village reservoir at the southern end of the track. You can see all the hurdles and fences, but the drawback is that big screen and funfair block out a view of the finish! That said, it’s a venue where you just enjoy the surrounding and suspend normal expectations of race viewing.

    I thought the view at Stratford was as poor as any track I’ve visited. Track is pan flat and the stands aren’t very high.

    • Total Posts 523

    Has to be Chelmsford.

    As far as I can see everyone is on the inside of the course so can only watch the action in the home straight.

    For me the viewing is the most important attribute of a racecourse. When I go racing I want to see all the action in the flesh, not on a big screen.

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 751

    Chelmsford is as bad as it gets. They actually race behind the stands.

    They go out of sight at Windsor around the loop and the angle of the straight to the stands makes it feel like they are running straight at you. Having said that, I still like the track!

    They go out of sight at Warwick for quite a long way but there are no jumps in that part of the track.

    And I have never particularly enjoyed Cheltenham whenever I have gone there. Far better watching on television.

    • Total Posts 4914

    There used to be a really good viewing position on the end of the old stand at Windsor, my regular spot when doing the southern circuit before moving to Scotland in 2006. They demolished that stand in the 90s and replaced it with a chocolate teapot stand and a tarmaced space.

    Not been to Chelmsford but agree it can’t be very good, a bit like putting a football stand in the centre circle.

    • Total Posts 1225

    Stratford for me too. Baffling low stands

    And dreadful for food too

    • Total Posts 551

    Cartmel the worst by far. If you stand in the stands you cannot see half the race then they go into the woods. Pointless.

    • Total Posts 11433

    Was so excited when Chelmsford opened being only 20 minutes drive from my house but oh what a disappointment my first and almost last visit was.
    It is designed to encourage those who like to sit indoors throughout the meeting and bet on the Tote. Only 3 or 4 actual bookmakers on site and the parade rings a soleless place.
    Even with the outside viewing you basically just see the horses gallop to post and then you see them racing for the last 2 furlongs to the winning post.
    They had the whole of the Essex Showground to plan this course and built the stand in the middle of the track….awful :negative:

    Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out...
    • Total Posts 120

    100% agree with your post, Triptych.

    Chelmsford is my local track too. Doubly frustrating since they actually have some good quality AW racing and decent field sizes. £17 per person is rank bad value for that viewing and general soullessness.

    Also spent most of my one and only visit trying to avoid Tommo and his microphone.

    • Total Posts 11433

    Even worse was that on my 2nd and final visit to Chelmsford it turned out to be the windiest day of the year. The commentary box was swaying about and they decided to postpone the first race. About an hour later racing went ahead only for one of the races having to be voided because a recall flag was mistakenly waved after the race had started. Unfair on the winning horse and connections. Complete farce :unsure:

    I can’t wait to get back to Newmarket the extra hours drive is worth it.
    Mind you Ship you’ll still get Tommo there for Evening meetings going round with his bucket collecting losing tickets for the prize draws but at least the stands are in the right place. :good: Jac

    Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out...
    • Total Posts 3125


    The original design, back when it was still called Great Leighs, did intend a lavish grandstand on the outside of the track, as per this architects picture:

    Great Leighs Racecourse

    Whether Jon Holmes would ever have managed to raise enough money to build that is arguable. But the plan was left in tatters anyway after the county council took over some of the land that was part of the showground to accomodate the new section of road that now runs past the entrance to the course. What was left was the narrow strip you see now between the outside rail of the course and the boundary fence, nowhere near enough for a grandstand.

    • Total Posts 4650

    Cartmel does have poor viewing, the only good spot is on the top of the “integrity tower” but I still love the place for the atmosphere.

    I don’t particularly like either of the Newmarket courses for viewing as you either see nothing (for the start of longer races) or it’s all head on.

    Agree about Stratford, the stands are too low, the same can be said of Perth.

    Chelmsford / Great Leighs totally agree with the comments above and I agree with Cork All Star’s other observations as well

    Unless you are high in the stands and have a powerful set of bins, the Grand National course at Aintree is something of an anti-climax

    Across the water, if I recall the Punchestown cross-country races do disappear from view.

    • Total Posts 11433

    Thanks ap…
    It did look a very lavish and expensive plan, I think hopes and dreams were high then but as you said the Council smashed them to pieces with the building of that road and of course there were other problems.
    Oh what might have been. B-)

    Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out...
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