National Hunt Racecourses

National Hunt Racecourses just like their flat counter parts come in all shapes and sizes. Flat tracks, speed tracks, undulating tracks and those racecourses where stamina is at a premium.

But there is the added factor of obstacles to negotiate, Hurdles are the lesser of the two with speed being the optimum requirement, hurdles can sometimes be flattened by horses jumping low and fast but still able to stay on its feet whereas a steeple chase fence needs a lot more respect shown to it, some fences come with a ditch in front of the them called an open ditch which can find out dodgy jumpers or those runners meeting the fence on the wrong stride.

Under certain weather conditions, National Hunt Racecourses can be subject to a fair bit of change from that shown on racecourse maps, a lot of rain can cause unsafe ground coming to a fence or on the landing side which will often cause the clerk of the course to omit the fence for that meeting, the same applies to frost where the track has had little exposure to the Sun in certain parts.

Running rails are often moved to keep parts of the track fresh for future meetings, so changes to national hunt racecourses can have quite an effect on race day especially when the last fence has been omitted making for a longer run-in to the winning line which may suit some horses and be a negative factor for those horses which rely on jumping ability to gain a winning edge but which lack natural flat speed.

Race day conditions play an important role when assessing the race card for possible betting opportunities.

Websites like the Racing Post and Betfair provide morning updates and the racing channels, Attheraces and Racing UK are a mine of information with reports from the tracks being covered by the respective channels that day.

COURSE

CHARACTERISTICS

Aintree Grand National

LH

Giant triangular flat circuit, very tough fences

Aintree Mildmay Course

LH

Flat speed track, tough fences

Ascot

RH

Stiff track, tough fences

Ayr

LH

Undulations with slight uphill finish

Bangor

LH

Track on the sharp side

Carlisle

RH

Stamina, stiff uphill finish

Cartmel

LH

Sharp, undulating, 4f run-in

Catterick

LH

Sharp undulating

Cheltenham

LH

Both old and new courses require a combination of speed and stamina, fences are tough

Chepstow

LH

Galloping track with steep undulations

Doncaster

LH

Flat Galloping Track

Exeter

RH

Galloping Track, uphill finish

Fakenham

LH

Sharp speed track

Ffos Las

LH

Flat Galloping track

Folkstone

RH

Undulating turning track

Fontwell

Hurdles course LH, Chase course figure of eight.

Haydock

LH

Chase course galloping, Hurdles course on the sharp side.

Hereford

RH

Flat track on the speed side

Hexham

LH

Stamina track, stiff uphill finish

Huntingdon

RH

Flat track

Kelso

LH

Tight circuit with a long run-in

Kempton

RH

Flat speed track

Leicester

RH

Galloping track, Stamina

Lingfield

LH

On the hilly side with a speed finish

Ludlow

RH

Flat with sharp turns

Market Rasen

RH

Flat track, fences are on the easy side

Musselburgh

RH

Flat with sharp turns

Newbury

LH

Flat galloping track, tough fences

Newcastle

LH

Uphill finish, tough fences

Newton Abbot

LH

Sharp speed track

Perth

RH

Flat turning track

Plumpton

LH

Undulating tight course, uphill finish

Sandown

RH

Galloping stamina track, tough fences

Sedgefield

LH

Undulating sharp track

Southwell

LH

Flat track, easy fences

Stratford

LH

Sharp track

Taunton

RH

Mostly flat track

Towcester

RH

Very stiff track

Uttoxeter

LH

Slight undulations, sweeping turns, on the galloping side

Warwick

LH

Undulating track

Wetherby

LH

Galloping, long straights

Wincanton

RH

Speed track, fences on the tough side

Worcester

LH

Flat galloping track



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