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British Racecourses A to G
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British Racecourses A to G

AINTREE:  (Jumps)  The course is the home of the world famous Grand National, which is run over 4 1/2 miles and is the highlight of the National Hunt season, It normally takes place at the end of April. The course is very lightly used with only a handful of meetings a year.
Course details:   Two left handed courses. The Grand National circuit is 2m2f   and is a near triangular shape. Inside this is the easier Mildmay course a circuit of 1 1/2miles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jockeys -Tom O’Brien and Barry Geraghty have good records around here during the Grand  National Festival. Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh, although have their fair share of winner here, both show big losses in the £1 level stake table over the past 5 years.  Trainer Peter Bowen is a trainer to keep an eye on at Aintree.


ASCOT (Flat & Jumps) Ascot stages 18 flat meetings  held between May and October and 8 jump meeting throughout the winter months. The Highlights being the Royal Ascot meeting in June.

Course Details: The flat course is a right handed triangle shape of just over 1m6f with a 2 1/2 furlong run in. There is a straight miles and a round mile, all races up to 7f are on the straight course.                                                                                                                 

The Draw Bias - 5f Horses drawn High espescially in large fields have an advantage.
6f Slight bias towards the horses drawn low.
7f Slight bias towards horses drawn high.
          1m Straight course, This is interesting, it is widely thought high numbers hold the key, but the stats just don’t back this up and show low numbers have the edge. 
   1m Round course is not used often and no stats are available.

The jumps course is right handed galloping track with stiff fences.  Any course and distance runners are worth a look at here.



AYR: (Flat and Jumps) Ayr is the premier racecourse in Scotland and races under both codes, the highlight for the flat season is Ayr Gold Cup, while the Ayr Grand National takes top spot for the jumpers.

The Draw Bias - 5f & 6f High numbers are best.
7f, Looking at the course layout it would apear that low number would hold an advantage with thew tight left hand bend, However, this is not the case and high numbers have the best record.

The jumps trainer with a great record here is Jim Goldie, and Jump jockey Peter Buchanan rides the Scottish course particularly well.


Bangor racecourse near Wrexham is a unique racecourse in the fact that it does not have a Grandstand, But that’s no problem, there is  excellent viewing from the natural grass banking that  provides a natural amphitheatre  The Course is a left handed circuit of 1m3f  it is  undulating with sharp bends.

BATH:.(Flat)   Bath is a 1m4f circuit with nearly 1/2 mile run in. There is no watering system here, so the going is often firm and fast which suits the galloping types.

The draw Bias is very odd here with the round course having tight left hand bends and even the  home straight has a left hand dog leg, suggesting  low numbers would suite. But this is not the case,
High numbers in all  distances have  a big advantage.
Trainer Malcolm Saunders does will here



BEVERLEY: (Flat)  Until recently Beverley was one of the best Courses for punter to make a profit with the draw bias, At one time you almost guarantee the winner would come from the highest half dozen drawn.  This is not so nowadays, The stall numbers were changed so the lowest number (1) would always be on the inside rail at all courses and the highest number would be on the outside rail.

The draw bias: All races Low numbers are favoured, with the exception of the 5f in heavy going, jockeys tend to run up the stands rail looking for better ground suggesting high number could hold the advantage.



BRIGHTON: (Flat) - A very undulating and tight course with a stiff uphill finish tthat also slopes away to the far rail. Horse can get unbalanced here, The course is a 1 1/2 mile u shape track. Course and Distance winners must not be ignored. Brighton seems to produce its far share of course specialists, (horses that don't win anywhere else). The draw bias: 5f to 1m favour horses draw low, with the exception of Soft going when horses tend to come up the stand side giving the high number the best chance.

Brighton racecourse sits on top of the highest hill in the city and overlooks the sea. It often falls victim to the sea fret which makes viewing limited to the last few yards or so when the mist draws in.



CARLISLE: (Flat & Jumps)  Carlisle is a dual purpose course. It was the first course to operate the tote betting system in1929. It is also the home of the Carlisle Bell, one of the oldest races in the country.  Recently Carlisle  became the first and to date the only course to hold a lady riders only flat meeting which has become very popular with female jockeys and spectators alike.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Draw Bias: 5f There isn’t much of an advantage here although horse drawn low seem to be slightly better off.  All other distances there is none draw bias.  For the jumpers watch out for any Nigel Twiston-Davis runners making the trip up here.


(Jumps) A very popular racecourse especially the May bank holiday   meeting where crowds can get upto 20,000, and there is a carnival atmosphere with the huge fun fair and market stalls in the centre of the course. 
Cartmel is left handed sharp undulating with stiff bend and a long 1/2 mile run in.   The Chase course has 6 fences per circuit including an open ditch and a water jump. The hurdle course has 4 obstacles per circuit.  The course is very narrow and the sharpness makes it difficult for horses to win coming off the pace.  Front running course specialists must not be ignored. Jockey Jason Maguire has a good record around here, has does Trainer Donald McCain:


CATTERICK: (Flat & Jumps) Catterick is a very sharp track, and is another racecourse for specialists. The round course is virtually downhill all the way from 7 furlongs out, and the 5 furlong races which start on a separate chute are also downhill all the way with the first furlong being quite an extreme downhill section. 

The draw Bias: 5f The stats suggest Low numbers are fancied. 6f Low numbers again have the advantage, However ,
this tends to alter when the going is Soft or Heavy,
The high numbers are then more dominant. 7f + no advantage on any going.     
It is a tricky little course for the jumpers, and you need a horse you can jump well, Trainer Sue Smith does well with her jumpers at this course.             




:  (JUMPS) Cheltenham is famously known it festival meeting which attracts huge crowds,  The Cheltenham Festival usually takes place in March and often coincides with St Patricks Day, which is very popular with the  Irish race fans who flock to the 4 day meeting in their thousands.The  course is left handed with a 4f run in uphill all the way.

In 1829, Cheltenham's Parish Priest, Reverend Francis Close, preached the evils of horseracing and aroused such strong feeling amongst his congregation that the race meeting in 1830 was disrupted. Before the following year's meeting the grandstand was burnt to the ground! To overcome this violent opposition the racecourse was moved to Prestbury Park, its current venue, in 1831. Steeplechasing became established in nearby Andoversford from 1834 and moved to the present course in 1898

The proposed development will create a state-of-the-art new grandstand alongside the existing main grandstand, replacing the circa 1920s 'A&R' block. It will include new annual members' facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes and the Royal Box.
The project will include improvements for owners and trainers, and focus on enhancing the overall customer experience at the racecourse, including elevated walkways to ease mobility and multi-tiered viewing of the parade ring. A detailed planning application for the development was submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council at the end of April 2013 after a successful public consultation.
The main development is scheduled to begin immediately after the 2014 Cheltenham Festival with a planned completion date ahead of The Festival in 2016. During the construction period, Cheltenham will be able to continue staging its race programme as normal.


Artist impression of the new grandstand at Cheltenham:

CHEPSTOW: (Jumps & Flat).The track is a roughly oval circuit of just under 2 miles It is a left-handed undulating course, used for both flat and jump racing. The finishing straight is about 5 furlongs  in length, with five fences on the chase course to be jumped. There is also a straight mile course. The main event for the jumpers is the Welsh National held at the end of December.
The draw bias - All flat races at Chepstow seems to favour the high numbers, Although the advantage is only slight.
Although flat racing takes part at Chepstow, it is better known for its National Hunt fixtures which includes
 the Welsh Grand National held at the end of December:


: (Flat) Chester is a very sharp left handed circuit with a short run in, The course is an oval shape and horses are on the turn most of the time. Long striding horses are disadvantaged with the course lay out and can become unbalanced.  For punting purpose’s it is important to check the draw as it as a big advantage around here. The Draw Bias— 5f Chester’s five furlong is probably the biggest draw bias in the country, Low numbers are a must especially in large fields. The 6f course is pretty much the same bias wise.  7f is interesting, although the Low drawn horses hold the advantage, it is nowhere as big as the 5f advantage. 1m Surprisingly there doesn’t seem to be any advantage in the draw over a miles at chester.


. (Flat & Jumps)

Doncaster is one of the oldest largest established centres for horse racing in Britain, with records of  regular race meetings going back to the 16th Century.  It is also the home of two of the oldest races in the country, ‘The Doncaster Cup’ and ‘The St Leger’.  Doncaster also has the distinction of both starting and ending the Turf flat season .The Lincoln Handicap is run here on the first Saturday of the new flat season every year.  The first Sunday race meeting was also held here in 1992 which   attracted a crowd of 23,000 people.
The course is 1m7f and is a pear shaped track with long sweeping bend. It is a very fair and mainly flat course with the exception of a small hill on the far side, Know locally has Rose Hill.

The Draw Bias— 5f There is a surprisingly large bias favouring high drawn horse especially in big fields.   6f Again high numbers have the best record, and particularly those drawn really high. 1m Straight, Middle to high is best, The Lincoln Handicap is ran over this distance, and high numbers come out best with the data we have. The Round mile is rarely used and  no data is available.

EPSOM:(Flat)  Epsom racecourse is steeped in history the first recorded race on the Epsom Downs was in 1661, Although  a local burial list records a William Stanley falling from his horse and braking his neck in 1625, which suggest racing was taking place on the down much earlier than first recorded.  Epsom is the home of the famous Derby and the Oaks . Legend has it the Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury ( who was a leading figure with the jockey club) spun a coin as to whether the race should be called the derby or the Bunbury Stakes.  Although Lord Derby won the toss, It was Sir Bunbury’s horse  - Diomed that won the race. Other notable races run at Epsom include, The Oaks, The Diomed stakes,  The coronation cup and The princess Elizabeth stakes..   
In the 1913 Derby, the suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of King George v horse  ANMER bringing it down. Davision was badly hurt and died four days later.
The Draw Bias  - 5f. This is one of the fastest 5 furlongs in the country, it is virtually all down hill. Not many race of this distance is run here so there is not much data to go on, what we have suggest horses drawn high have a slight advantage especially in larger fields.   6f — No real advantage over this distance  the 6f start is from a chute and the horse take just one left hand bend.  7f furlong races start from a chute like the 6f course but the 7f is a much tighter course  and Low drawn horses have an advantage.   Race of 1mile or over, No advantage;                             


EXETER: (Jumps)  Exeter Racecourse holds 15 National Hunt fixture each year between October and May, The highlight is the Haldon Gold cup in November.  Exeter has always attracted top racehorses and can boast many  distinguished runners including Desert Orchid, Best Mate, and Kato Star.

The course is undulating, and of about 2 miles with a 4f straight run in. The track suits galloping types. The back section has a steep one furlong descent, followed immediately by a one furlong climb, which is a real test of stamina for horses especially in heavy going.


FAKENHAM: (Jumps)  Fakenham is a small tight Left handed circuit of 1 mile. The track has four sharp bends and is very undulating, The course does not suit the long striding horse.  For betting purposes its always worth siding on the course and distance winners, and stats show a large percentage of front runners have god records around here.

There are only 10 meeting a year at Fakenham and it does not hold any big championship  races held here, Although the feature race held here is The Fakenham Silver Cup held in March each year.  Trainers with a good win record at Fakenham are Lucy Wadham, and Paul Nicholls. Jockey Leighton Aspell also rides this course particularly well.

(Flat & Jumps) In June 2009 Ffos Las became the first racecourse to open in Wales in more than 80 years. The Course near Llanelli was transformed from an old open cast coal mine.  The course is a left handed rectangle shape of 1m4f. It is a far and easy course with no undulations .
Ffos Las accommodates both Flat and National Hunt racing.

The Draw Bias— 5,6, & 7 furlong have no draw advantage, the 1 miles has a slight advantage to horses drawn Low in big fields. However, one stat sticks out when the going is good or firm, and that is prominent runners have a   definite advantage, and it is very hard to win with hold up types.


(Jumps)  Fontwell Park is somewhat a specialist’s track, Course and Distance winners are    always worth following here.  The Hurdle course is Left handed of about 1 mile, the bends are tight and the first   hurdle on the back straight  is down hill can catch novices out.  The chase course is a figure of eight and runs both left and right handed. The run in is all up in and can be very testing in heavy going Front runner are favoured.    The smaller local trainer do well here, Such as Chris Gordan, and Sheena West, Jockeys Tom Canon and Leighton Aspell have their far share of winners around here. 


GOODWOOD; (Flat)  Goodwood racecourse is situated in the heart of the Sussex Downs near Chichester. It is best known for it annual ‘Glorious Goodwood’ meeting held in the last week July. This meeting is one of the highlights to the seasons flat racing calendar and hosts two Group 1 races, The Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes. The course has beautiful views over the downs and over looking Chichester Harbour, but it does have its draw backs from being in close proximity to the coast, It can get very foggy when the sea fret roll in. The course lay out is quite unusual, The 2m5f start is close to the winning post and horse run the wrong way up the home straight and travel out and around a loop to bring them back the right way
The Draw Bias— 5f Low numbers are favoured and stall one has won twice as many as any other stall over 5f. 6f Again the low numbers tend to have an advantage.  7f and over there is no draw bias with both high and low numbered horse winning around the same number of races.   

During the Glorious Good wood meeting it is worth following Yorkshire Trainers Mark Johnston and Dandy Nicholls .
Jockey Richard Hughes  normally has plenty of winners at the festival.


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