March 1, 2008 at 07:53 #6906the welsh wizardMember
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Now, I’m not stupid and I don’t expect to see top-quality racing 10 days before the start of the Festival.
My point, however, is that why on earth does Newbury want to stage this kind of action? These are the kind of Saturdays where the likes of Huntingdon and Wincanton could take centre stage instead of trying to compete with the Grade One cards at Ascot and Haydock as they do with the Peterborough ‘Chase and Kingwell Hurdle days respectively.March 1, 2008 at 08:46 #147531runandskipMember
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i notice that the prize money for the feature chase hase slumped from Â£100,000 to Â£65,000March 1, 2008 at 09:11 #147536yeatsParticipant
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Why would you prefer to see Huntingdon or Wincanton rather than Newbury? With what races? Thought the Peterboro was being moved back to midweek?March 1, 2008 at 09:39 #147543davidjohnsonMember
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i notice that the prize money for the feature chase hase slumped from Â£100,000 to Â£65,000
It may be chicken and egg situation but justifiably so looking at the field.March 1, 2008 at 09:42 #147544
Newbury’s problems are long term in my view –
The fact that Lambourn is no longer the major training centre and now has only one man in the top ten.
The fact that a few years ago they had problems with the ground and lost the trust of a lot of trainers. Even with the ground now sorted, it takes time for trainers to regain confidence.
Poor levels of prize money, with almost every race at this meeting worth less than three or four years ago and most comparing poorly with similar grade races at other tracks. Todays offer of ten grand for a 0-135 handicap hurdle is typical – I ran a horse last Sunday in a 0-120 at Exeter for twelve grand.
It’s interesting to look at the number of runners trainers send to different tracks – for example Alan King sends far more horses to Wincanton than he does to Newbury. It’s almost a Catch 22 – Newbury is framing races designed to attract the best horses, but the best horses are going elsewhere because other tracks, especially Ascot and Cheltenham, offer more money.
They need to have a complete rethink of their NH program, but the management seem to be tied down by development plans and takeover bids.
APMarch 1, 2008 at 09:50 #147547Fist of Fury 2k8Member
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I love Newbury . Like TWW says you can’t expect Denman to be doing his stuff ……….For the average punter the first 2 races are dull affairs but the rest of the card is competetive enough.
Couldn’t be described as normal standard but there are a few other half decent meeting today that will go ahead.
Don’t think it’s a meeting to be betting at apart from the main event though and meetings like these usually end up the bookies having a field day.
I’d be tempted to re-route to another meeting if I was in the UK, if it wasn’t for the fact there’s a couple of horses I would like to watch running, Sir Rembrant and Nevertika. Apart from them it looks dull for me.March 1, 2008 at 11:17 #147585yeatsParticipant
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The prize money’s still more than double what’s on offer at that other Grade 1 track Kempton.March 1, 2008 at 12:42 #147616
In total, that’s correct, but a comparison of similar races doesn’t look so good for Newbury.
Kempton 0-130 hurdle Â£12k – Newbury 0-135 hurdle Â£10k
Kempton Nov Hcp Ch Â£18k – Newbury Nov Hcp Ch Â£9k
Kempton Bumper Â£4k – Newbury Bumper Â£3k.
APMarch 1, 2008 at 12:58 #147623MCFC StanMember
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I’m guessing sponsorship is one of the main reasons the main race has lost so much prize money, wasn’t it sponsored by Vodafone in the past? Its not a bad card though, just not a great one, whether there is a need for 4 cards like there is today is another matter. You could amalgamate the 4 jumps meetings and make 3 decent ones televising 2 of them, but the trend is for more and more racing and there aren’t enough decent horses to go round.March 1, 2008 at 13:34 #147638graysonscolumnParticipant
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Interesting observations, AP.
In addition, do you get any sense that Newbury trades a little too much on the composition of the track being enough of a lure?
By which I’m thinking that the fact it is a flat, galloping oval, with a reputation for being among the fairest jumping tests in the country, leads the executive there to think they’ll always get big – and to a certain extent decent quality – fields, even if they shave the odd few grand off the prize kitty?
I think Stan might have hit upon a salient point as well, mind. Today’s fixture seems to have been one of the victims of Vodafone’s much-reduced interest in the sport. My first thoughts were that none of the major betting firms seized on the opportunity to sponsor the meeting in Vodafone’s stead as they’re all saving their pennies for Cheltenham, but the involvement of Betfred at Kempton (for a pretty minor meeting as the Sunbury venue’s jumps meetings go) and the Tote at Kelso suggests otherwise.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.March 1, 2008 at 16:48 #147666
I wouldn’t argue with that thesis – but overall I just sense a lack of direction at the track and a general feeling that they current management aren’t really that keen on jumping outside of the Hennessey and Tote Gold Trophy meetings. Although I’m sure they would deny such a suggestion!
APMarch 1, 2008 at 18:35 #147682Neil WatsonParticipant
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I agree with the fact that its not the best meeting at Newbury but remember that next Saturdays meets at Ayr,Chepstow and Sandown will be even worse,
For me though i quite like the slightly lower class of racing and if i could i would have gone to Ludlow on Thurday as opposed to Newbury today.
Dont forget that Doncaster had a decent Grand National trial and Kelso had a Grade 2 novice hurdle.
Racing is not all based around the southern course you knowMarch 1, 2008 at 20:34 #147722GingertipsterParticipant
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In the past I think this weeks meeting and the one after Cheltenham may fitted in to their plans at a good stage with the Flat taking centre stage for the Greenham / Fred Darling later. This year I believe they have another fixture though.
When the Connaught Cup (Vodaphone Gold Cup) started it was worth far more but that was when Cheltenham’s 2m5f race was the old Cathgart. It stands to reason it will not attract the "Isio’s" now the Ryanair is a Grade 1. The reduced value is quite understandable.
Gingevalue is everythingMarch 1, 2008 at 21:01 #147733the welsh wizardMember
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so why bother? why not give the meeting up to say Huntingdon or Towcester and add the prize money to the late March fixture?March 1, 2008 at 21:05 #147734GingertipsterParticipant
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Because if Newbury did not have any racing, they would not get any punters through the gate.value is everything
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