Horse Racing - 2010 John Smith's Grand National - Day Three - Aintree Racecourse

Notoriously known for hosting the Grand National, national hunt’s blue ribband event. The National course is only used for five races over the NH season (Becher Chase, Grand Sefton, Topham Chase, Foxhunters’ and of course the Grand National itself). The other course is known as the Mildmay course which is a flat track with two long straights and mainly favours speedy galloping types. Left-handed track.



Bangor is a tight track with a couple of sharp bends, this course provides a difficult jumping challenge. Can be hard for horses to recover if their jumping isn’t fluent. Left-handed track.



CARTMEL-RACES-2-1000x666A unique course, very tight and even though only the six fences to the circuit it does provide a stiff jumping challenge. The half mile run-in is the longest in the country. Favours horses who are ridden prominent and who travel well. Left-handed track.



imageresizerThe home of NH racing which hosts the infamous 4-day festival in March, the pinnacle of the NH season. The whole season’s racing here is always of top quality and is aided by the use of two courses, known as the ‘New’ & ‘Old’. The course itself is undulating with difficult fences and the final half mile is all uphill providing a stiff stamina test. In the centre of the course you’ll also find the X-country course which is used for just three races each season. Left-handed track.


beautiful-shot-of-theA very up and down course with an uphill finish in the home straight which consists of four fences over half a mile. The ground can change remarkably here but in the depths of winter it can go very testing and suits staying sorts. Right-handed track.



imageA short circuit but is quite tight, some say the tightest in the country. It’s usually handy to be up with the pace and suits good jumpers, albeit not known for great quality of racing. Left-handed track.



Fontwell Park:

XHRCA_2A quirky chase course which is in the figure of eight, whilst the hurdle course is a much more conventional oval shape. You’ll find here that course form can be key due to how disorientated it is. Slight stiff finish. Left-handed track.



herefordracecourseadjustedAfter a 4-year hiatus, Hereford re-opened for racing again in October 2016. The track is almost square with a downhill run into the final bend which can see strong travellers lengthen away from those under the pump. It can become quite heavy ground during the winter months. Right-handed track.


JS57045127A picturesque course with hedges either side of the larger obstacles, which aren’t the most challenging. The undulations and stiff uphill climb to the finish can catch a few horses out, especially if hitting the front and going for home too soon. Left-handed track.



imageA flat, oval track with seemingly easy bends. The speedier the horse the better their chances as it suits nice galloping types to the ground, but also you need to jump with some of the fences quite tough. Right-handed track.



imageThe Scottish Borders National takes place here. The chase course is separate to the hurdles, but both have a long run-in – even since the re-adjustement of the final flights in 2012. It’s mostly a flat track but generally suits those with stamina in abundance. Left-handed track.



LudlowAn oval shaped course with the hurdles running on the outside of the chase. The former has easier bends but the latter is quite sharp. The fences are on the easy side however and with the course being quite flat it suits quicker horses. Right-handed track.


Market Rasen:

MARKET_RASEN_Runners_towards_the_stands_A very long and thin track with sharp bends and again quite flat, similar to Ludlow. The top of the home straight to the winning post is quite a way and although you think you can make up ground being flat, it can sometimes be difficult to peg back the leader. Hosts the two main summer jumping races on the same card (Summer Plate & Summer Hurdle). Right-handed track.

Newton Abbot:

Newton-Abbot-racecourseA sharp, square shaped course with a very short run-in, especially the hurdles track – very rarely you’ll see a horse caught if jumping the last in front. The fences aren’t the most challenging. Left-handed track.



PerthQuite a flat track with expansive bends, you could say the course, mainly the turn into the home straight can be quite misleading for jockeys as you tend to see them attempt to kick for home from quite a way out, which with a long run in – especially after the last – can jeopardise your chances with it being flat. Right-handed track.


Tommy+Phelan+Plumpton+Races+vuX3-emtb-jlHost to the Sussex National, Plumpton is a very tight track which similar to Fontwell suits those who have previous course form, especially with the undulations and sharp turns. Left-handed track.




Sedgefield+Race+Course+Sedgefield+Races+Re55vVLvt2AlThis track is host to the Durham National. The fences here are probably one of the easiest in the country, but in testing conditions it does pay to be on one that is slick at their fences as it can be tough to make up lost ground with the undulations. Left-handed track.



that-s-rhythm-2-lst164642Sharp track, mostly flat and usually run on quick ground in the summer months. Slick jumpers and ex-flat horses tend to go well here. You need to be within striking distance if not in front on the long bend for home as it’s quite a short run-in with just the one jump. Left-handed track.



Taunton Races 301214A very tight sharp track in the West Country which can sometimes be used as a stepping stone for useful novice chasers to make their debut. Although the fences are not the biggest in size, it can be quite deceptive with the downhill run to the third last which more often than you’d think catches horses out. Right-handed track.


the-empress-grace-standsAlthough the fences aren’t the most daring, it’s a difficult track with an extremely tough uphill climb from a mile out. The ground can get very testing too in winter, so add that to the stiffness of the track it suits extreme stayers, can be hard to make ground up but not impossible if those in front have gone too hard too early. Right-handed track.


midlands-national-dayHost to the Midlands National, it’s quite a sharp track with an unusual sort of zig-zag shape down the back straight. The home straight is quite long so the better the traveller, the better the chances. Left-handed track.



christmasAtTheRaces2016Used to have both flat & jumps racing staged here, now only jumping (through the winter) due to some sharp bends being unsafe especially on quick summer ground. It’s regarded as a tough test of jumping with five fences coming in quick succession down the back straight. Suits horses being prominent and in the depths of winter it can be tough to get home. Left-handed track.


2341_1_Wincanton-sunny-racingA flat track which has been said to be the quickest jumps courses in Britain with a downhill run from the home bend to the winning post. Can be hard to make ground turning in especially if they are a sound jumper with the fences being quite stiff. Right-handed track.



worcester-arc-horse-raceUsed for jumping throughout the summer, this course is vey flat and isn’t the toughest of jumping challenges, good for novice’s. It’s primarily two long straights with easy round bends at either end of the course. Nice, easy galloping course. Left-handed track.

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