The national hunt problem in UK

Derbz87
Classic Winner
Tips
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Devon

The national hunt problem in UK

Postby Derbz87 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:23 am

Seasonal greetings fellow OLBG posters, I've been on something of a prolonged break on here since the National Hunt season got into full swing and that's mainly because although I've followed it, I've found it hard to get involved from a betting perspective which is primarily what this forum is about.

Anyway back on with the topic. I consider myself a fan of racing full stop, so I'm not a flat fan or a jumps fan solely whereas some I know prefer one or the other. I know there is another thread on here regarding small field sizes in Graded Novice Chases and I'd go along with that being a big problem but I would add that I think part of that is linked to the bigger problem in the game overall - Cheltenham.

I take an interest in the handicapping side of things and I know in the big novice graded races there is a lot of guesswork involved in assessing the merit of winners, generally they'll base it around historical ratings they have handed out for winners of the same race. Any horses who aren't up to winning a Graded race but could run respectably will (likely) will be flattered in proximity to a genuine Graded horse due to it being a small field and false pace etc.. alas they get handicapped out of what is likely to be the bigger picture and the novice handicaps at the festivals.

Don't get me wrong I love Cheltenham as a spectacle but why do we have the two best 2M hurdlers in training avoiding each other until Champion Hurdle day? The rest of the division is awful with all due respect and it makes watching the trials completely pointless even before you get onto the fact you can't have a bet on because the 1/10 winner scares off enough of the opposition to create a win only market.

Bar Outlander running horrendously in the Betfair Chase neither Mullins or Elliott have sent out any of their better class horses over for any of the big graded races - perhaps a prize money issue rather than Cheltenham related (although that in itself could be interlinked). The flat has it's own problems but at least Aidan O'Brien sends his horses over here regularly. I can't have been the only one completely uninspired by Kempton this year bar the King George? What on earth was that Wayward Lad field about? A race with previous winners such as Altior, Simonsig, Sprinter Sacre etc... No wonder Kempton is closing if that is their big meeting of the year it was dull as dishwater for the most part.

Nearly everything is about Cheltenham (bar the Grand National which comes even later in the year) and it just frustates the life out of me for most of the rest of the season bar the odd big handicap once a month. Interested to hear others thoughts, especially the bonnna fide National Hunt die-hards, apologies if this comes across too ranty! :D

Gman84
At Stud
User avatar
Betting Blog Tips
Posts: 4675
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:00 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby Gman84 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:04 am

I can see where you’re coming from Derbz. Even the TV do it with a race run the first thing they mention is the winners lroce for its corresponding race at Cheltenham.

But it’s a good point that it is actually spoiling the racing earlier in the year. Have any of the powers that be noticed and if they have (or do) what can be done about it?

What I like about the NH over the flat (or rather one of the things) is that Cheltenham, as a highlight, is near the back end of the season. I know Aintree, Punchestown, Sandown come afterwards but Cheltenham is like the grand final(s) whereas in the flat the equivalent for me would be Royal Ascot but that actually happens before the half way point and I tend to lose interest in the flat once that’s past. I appreciate the build up is different and for some horses they may only get one or two shots at an Ascot race but when it’s ended it feels like a bit of an anticlimax.
Grand National - Pinstickers Guide Blog

I am raising money for Cancer Research in memory of my wife. If you would like to help please follow the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/juliebrophy

Arc Jimmy
Group 1 Class
Tips
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:18 pm

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby Arc Jimmy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:38 am

The things I prefer NHunt over flat are the familiarity & continuation year on year
You can follow a smart 4 year old bumper winner through most of career say a 10 year old so 7 seasons of high end racing, these horses become your mates whereas the flat win a bit of black type as a 3 year old and it's adios off to become a cash cow, very few continual top performing flat horses are around as a 5 year old.

In National Hunt we have icons like Red Rum, Desert Orchid, what have the flat got ermmmm, Frankie Dettori.

What is the biggest & best race on the calendar, The Grand National, Ascot is just a day out for Posh types, I wouldn't go if it was free, not a proper racing crowd.

I agree about Kempton, the King George was a strong field this year in comparison to previous & atmosphere was as dull as dishwasher, most courses within an hour of London are souless most of the time, if you want a good atmosphere go up North, I recommend Doncaster, The Donny Roar, available for both codes, if you want to go to sleep at the races I recommend Newmarket & just think when Kempton finally succumbs to a new housing estate or two, we'll have 3 courses at Newmarket & 1 struggling at Chelmsford.

There really is no one code better than the other we are thankfully different & individual & have our own preferences, I watch around 15 football games over 9 month period & attend more Flat than National Hunt, on the plus side for racing as a spectator sport is the attendances rising year on year so someone is doing something right !

sportingsamcan
Group 2 Class
User avatar
Betting Blog Tips
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:00 am

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby sportingsamcan » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:11 pm

Personally a massive fan of Cheltenham but both fans and the media are so guilty of thinking too much about the big races too early.

Owners and trainers a bit guilty too, look at the Betfair hurdle last year huge prize money yet we see a field size less than the max run, the county hurdle worth less at the festival was over subscribed by 20+ horses! (and probably harder to win!)

We need a little less racing at the top and more racing cut at the bottom, field sizes are getting worse and worse at both ends of the game.

Gman84
At Stud
User avatar
Betting Blog Tips
Posts: 4675
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:00 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby Gman84 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 am

Maybe certain races or racecourses need to look at offering appearance money? Haven’t Chester done this on the level because of the strong draw bias that their races have. Maybe if certain races that generally have small fields or struggle to attract runners offered an appearance fee that at least covered some of the cost of sending a horse it might help make up some better fields?
Grand National - Pinstickers Guide Blog

I am raising money for Cancer Research in memory of my wife. If you would like to help please follow the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/juliebrophy

Shrews
Triple Crown Winner
Tips
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:00 am

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby Shrews » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Could a problem here be the length of the NH season?

I'm not sure how the average amount of runners compares to the flat but it seems to me that the NH season is just too long and it's no wonder the fields are so small.

Flat ownership is also much easier. The horse can be running at two and keep running up to about six before form plateau's and then declines. If you buy a 12f+ horse you can then run it over the jumps!

If you buy a jumps horse you have to wait until its 4+ before you even get a run and then enter a game that is pretty darn risky.

In these days of money being a bit tighter and people 'with money' keeping hold of it with Brexit on the horizon and political uncertainty around the world, it's no wonder really that the jumps game seems to be struggling a bit.

meoldmate
Legend
User avatar
Betting Blog Tips
Posts: 20608
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Fife

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby meoldmate » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:30 pm

I do enjoy the National hunt scene greater than the flat, due to seeing horses appearing each season and not been retired off, for breeding etc.
The national hunt season maybe on the long side, with summer jumping appearing and fields could be on the small side due to firm ground being an issue, causing horses to jar themselves.
Prize money can be another factor, with small fields coming to hand, as bigger the purse the higher the rating and this could handicap a horse who ran well without winning, not getting another break for sometime, as the handicapper has him/her in his pocket.
We use to have a break and it would be good to see a break once more, with say three months after the last race at Sandown.
This would or could see fields having more runners and racing fans knowing the national hunt scene is starting once again. As I am confused at times with who is winning the jockey/trainer championship.
With a break, makes shorter season but with more positive outlooks with prize money rising and I believe better races to watch.
I am glad the winter game (so called) has not gone the way as the flat by recreating races of seller class, ie class seven and kept sellers and claimers as the low key events.
Like many here Cheltenham is our big thing of the year and we get geared ready for that week just like Christmas.

Hope I make sense here with what I have placed over.
OLBG Moderator

The Market Man
At Stud
User avatar
Betting Blog Tips
Posts: 2671
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:00 am
Contact:

Re: The national hunt problem in UK

Postby The Market Man » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:17 pm

I can remember Rishi Persad interviewing a trainer after a race at Aintree’s autumn meeting several years ago and his first question was “ Is he one for Cheltenham ? “. Talk about not savouring the moment.

Then we have the immediate reaction to the wonderful veterans final at Sandown with the Racing Post asking if the Festivals should have a veterans race.

There are some great races and meetings during the winter and, thankfully, many are supported by both large and small yards. However, I think the current Novice Chase issue is linked with the obsession with the festival and many horses having their marks protected by trainers so they can race off a low mark in a more valuable race in the springtime.
They often have one very good novice running for experience and the requisite victory required for some conditions races, then one or two lower rated horses entered by trainers looking to pinch some prize money.

The Festival prize fund has been boosted yet again so this will only widen the gap between a Wednesday in November and a Wednesday in March. It’s National Lottery type thinking. One massive jackpot winner does little for the economy but 20 winners of £100k spreads the wealth.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]