Cheltenham Owners and Trainers
Essential Cheltenham Updates for Owners’ and Trainers
In 2020 the racing season at Cheltenham Racecourse will offer around £7.5 million in prize money across their 16 days of exhilarating Jumps action.
Owners and trainers dream of running winners in Cheltenham races, particularly at The Festival, which always attracts a star-studded field. The likes of JP McManus, Willie Mullins and Patricia Pugh have all entered their stable stars into races at Cheltenham. The Home of National Hunt racing have a committed team of staff to ensure that Owners’ and Trainer visits run as expected, from the distribution of badges and tickets to parking, access to the enclosures, serving hospitality and, for teams with winning horses, the presentation of trophies.
The going refers to the state of the grounds on a racetrack and is used to measure the amount of moisture present in the ground before a race. In addition to providing an official description in the going report, Racecourses are required to take penetrometer readings with a TurfTrax GoingStick which will give a more thorough inspection of the going.
For owners’ and trainers, the going reports are crucial as it allows them to decide whether a horse should run or not. Horses perform better on different grounds, with some even being ‘specialists’ on particular grounds – take racing powerhouse Altior for example, he prefers good ground over soft ground, although the Nicky Henderson trained runner has been successful on softer ground.
The going report is helpful not only for owners and trainers but for racegoers to as it will also help you predict your winning runners for the day. If you know what horses perform better on particular surfaces, you may be in with a lucky bet!
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The Latest Cheltenham Racecourse Going Report
The latest Cheltenham going report will be available 5 days prior to the meeting.
The Going on Festival Trials Day: Soft.
Cheltenham Festival Hospitality
The Types of Going
In the UK there are six grades of surface which range from firm to heavy and determine the speed in which a horse will be able to run a race.
Firm ground is usually raced on during Summer months when Flat racing takes place. The surface conditions are much dryer, which means horses are able to run faster.
Good to firm
The grounds are marginally slower than firm grounds but the horse will still have a quick pace. A seventh-grade surface exists, known as hard but this type of ground has been considered dangerous for both the jockey and horse. So, sometimes racecourse officials will take action and add water to the track to soften it slightly, especially if no rain has been forecasted.
This is the most common type of ground and often considered the fairest for the majority of horses. Most horses seem to favour good ground as it is the easiest to run on and so racecourses such as Cheltenham will use this ground the most as it attracts a wider field.
Good to soft
On the soft side of good, this type of ground retains a lot of water and so will be slightly harder for a horse to run on due to the high moisture content.
This type of ground is most common during the Jumps season, when the temperature has dropped and rain is regular. However, this type of surface can be much harder for horses to run on due to the high moisture content, and so horses are more likely to run slower. However, some of the most celebrated horses have wowed the masses on this type of ground, take Arkle in Cheltenham’s Gold Cup Chase for example.
Not many horses enjoy racing on this type of surface as the grounds are essentially soaked in water. Horses will run slow on this ground, which offers a real test of stamina and could actually be quite exciting to watch.