Haydock's Fences

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
12,913
Location
Essex
Although this was going to be about Might Bite (who I love - so gorgeous!). And Native River (who doesn't love a chestnut with a blaze) or Bristol de Mai (you can't beat a grey) I have actually just finished watching yesterdays racing and the number of fallers at Haydock was distressing. Even the experienced handicappers had a terrible time. It seems odd to me that there is no standard set for height/slope/density of the fences. A lot of those horses from Saturday are going to need some work to get them jumping nicely again.
I don't want pathetic fences either, they have to jump them, but horses seemed to be making a really poor shape over these and they were totally unforgiving of any errors. Sad.
 

EKW

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2011
Messages
8,731
Haydocks fences are some of the stiffest in the north. Only Newcastles match up to them, almost. You can't make any mistakes. The problem is the smaller tracks don't stuff as much birch in so the fences are softer, you can go through them rather than over them. Horses learn to jump through then come a cropper when they meet a solid one. Height, width etc aren't as relevant as the rigidity of the birch.

Haydocks had just been restuffed I think which makes them tougher. I know there was a lot of talk about them before hand.
 

AdorableAlice

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 October 2011
Messages
10,357
Not as distressing as the scenes at Navan this afternoon, but yes, yesterdays racing wasn't the best viewing from Haydock.

Why can there not be a UK standard for NH fences on the park tracks ? same height, width and density. That would make it fair for all and the specialist horses would still have their favourite tracks in terms of terrain and going.

Horses certainly get used to types of fences, showjumping for instance. Years ago the poles were so heavy you could barely lift them and horse could climb over them leaving them upright. Todays poles are feather weight and horses are bred for carefulness.
 

bonny

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2007
Messages
2,510
There is a uk standard, in theory they are all the same height but they are built by different teams. The other difference is that most courses now have portable fences which tend to be softer, ironically haddock used to have formidable fences but when they went over to portable ones they became as soft as anywhere else, yesterday seemed to be either they had rebuilt them too stiff or they wanted to get their reputation back and went too far considering no horses nowadays are used to jumping ‘proper fences’.
 

Mariposa

Active Member
Joined
9 May 2011
Messages
1,388
Although this was going to be about Might Bite (who I love - so gorgeous!). And Native River (who doesn't love a chestnut with a blaze) or Bristol de Mai (you can't beat a grey) I have actually just finished watching yesterdays racing and the number of fallers at Haydock was distressing. Even the experienced handicappers had a terrible time. It seems odd to me that there is no standard set for height/slope/density of the fences. A lot of those horses from Saturday are going to need some work to get them jumping nicely again.
I don't want pathetic fences either, they have to jump them, but horses seemed to be making a really poor shape over these and they were totally unforgiving of any errors. Sad.
The clerk of the course seemed to admit that they might have gone overboard on them - and they did look very solid didn't they? Might Bite looked so uncomfortable over them, Thistlecrack jumped like a green horse over them, giving them so much air! To take nothing away from the mighty Bristol de Mai - who galloped and jumped like a star - but those fences were just too much. I thought Native River ran a blinder and was so delighted to see Thistlecrack in third, he's got such an engine that he made up all the lengths lost in the air. Might be contraversial but I do wish they'd put him back over hurdles....could anything beat him in the stayers hurdle in March?!
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
12,913
Location
Essex
I agree about Thistlecrack, he never looks as happy over fences as he did hurdles. Bristol de Mai is incredible, he makes it look like a walk in the park.

I see in the RP that they had softened the fences once following a pre race inspection.
 

bonny

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2007
Messages
2,510
The clerk of the course seemed to admit that they might have gone overboard on them - and they did look very solid didn't they? Might Bite looked so uncomfortable over them, Thistlecrack jumped like a green horse over them, giving them so much air! To take nothing away from the mighty Bristol de Mai - who galloped and jumped like a star - but those fences were just too much. I thought Native River ran a blinder and was so delighted to see Thistlecrack in third, he's got such an engine that he made up all the lengths lost in the air. Might be contraversial but I do wish they'd put him back over hurdles....could anything beat him in the stayers hurdle in March?!
I don’t think the jumps in themselves were too stiff, it is the difference between them and other courses now that confused the horses. I’m sure by the next meeting they will be a lot easier anyway. Thistlecrack wouldn’t win the stayers hurdle again, he’s about to be 11, he went chasing instead for a reason.
 
Joined
15 February 2018
Messages
365
I don’t think the jumps in themselves were too stiff, it is the difference between them and other courses now that confused the horses. I’m sure by the next meeting they will be a lot easier anyway. Thistlecrack wouldn’t win the stayers hurdle again, he’s about to be 11, he went chasing instead for a reason.
The jumps arnt a problem ,its the mickey mouse training fences that so many trainers have . If a horse is trained not to respect a fence then its got a problem.
 

Tiddlypom

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 July 2013
Messages
7,956
Location
In between the Midlands and the North
The jumps arnt a problem ,its the mickey mouse training fences that so many trainers have . If a horse is trained not to respect a fence then its got a problem.
Agree that the horse should be trained to jump correctly over realistic fences at home first. But if the horse then learns that it can take liberties during a race a certain venues with 'soft' fences, it is going to be shocked to find others that are much less forgiving.

Poor bloody horses. They risk all for the sport, so there should be consistency throughout in what they jump. A chase fence at for eg Haldon should be built to identical standards to one at Haydock.
 
Joined
19 January 2009
Messages
453
Sadly, it got even worse yesterday (Monday) where almost a tenth of the total runners at Musselburgh's NH meeting died. The winner of the first race finished lame and was dismounted on immediately pulling up but couldn't be saved, two others broke limbs and a fourth horse had a heart attack mid-course. Whilst the first consideration should be to those who owned, loved and looked after these horses, the BHA have rightly ordered an inquiry into the circumstances, especially as this isn't a track that has historically had a large amount of incidences in the past, to the point that I can recall several meetings that have passed without even a faller, let alone a fatality.
 

bonny

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2007
Messages
2,510
Sadly, it got even worse yesterday (Monday) where almost a tenth of the total runners at Musselburgh's NH meeting died. The winner of the first race finished lame and was dismounted on immediately pulling up but couldn't be saved, two others broke limbs and a fourth horse had a heart attack mid-course. Whilst the first consideration should be to those who owned, loved and looked after these horses, the BHA have rightly ordered an inquiry into the circumstances, especially as this isn't a track that has historically had a large amount of incidences in the past, to the point that I can recall several meetings that have passed without even a faller, let alone a fatality.
That sounds awful, were you there ? If so, do you see any link between the deaths ?
 
Joined
19 January 2009
Messages
453
I saw the last three races, and watched the first ones on replay. TBH, the veteran that had the heart attack just appeared to be a sad occurrence. His connections are devastated. Was difficult to see where the winner of the first race incurred his injury, as he battled hard to the finish. The other two just went badly wrong. I believe one of EKW's runners that finished fourth was found to be lame too. Hopefully they will get to the bottom of what happened, irrespective of whether there is some connection with three of them, or whether this was just a genuinely tragic day.
 

EKW

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2011
Messages
8,731
I think Musselburgh yesterday just had one of those days that no one ever wants. They seem to have had 3 years worth of fatalities in one day which is a freak occurance. The horse who had a heart attack isn't the fault of the track. These things happen. One broke a knee, another a leg. Ours is under veterinary care, I am not sure what injury Hobbs's horse did - bone or tendon but yes, sadly didn't head home. Dickie Johnson said the horse went lame strides from the line. No jockey, nor trainer had issue with the turf. If anything it was riding better than it has for a long time - the perfect mix of turf cover, lovely soft side of good ground - perfect racing ground. All of the injuries happened at different parts of the track so it's not a patch of false ground. They look after the ground very, very well at Musselburgh! The staff have won the Groundstaff Of The Year award a few times - they take so much pride in their work and rightly so!

I doubt hte BHA will find anything but it is good they are investigating. It was just a very bad, unlucky day for the track.
 
Joined
19 January 2009
Messages
453
I think Musselburgh yesterday just had one of those days that no one ever wants. They seem to have had 3 years worth of fatalities in one day which is a freak occurance. The horse who had a heart attack isn't the fault of the track. These things happen. One broke a knee, another a leg. Ours is under veterinary care, I am not sure what injury Hobbs's horse did - bone or tendon but yes, sadly didn't head home. Dickie Johnson said the horse went lame strides from the line. No jockey, nor trainer had issue with the turf. If anything it was riding better than it has for a long time - the perfect mix of turf cover, lovely soft side of good ground - perfect racing ground. All of the injuries happened at different parts of the track so it's not a patch of false ground. They look after the ground very, very well at Musselburgh! The staff have won the Groundstaff Of The Year award a few times - they take so much pride in their work and rightly so!

I doubt hte BHA will find anything but it is good they are investigating. It was just a very bad, unlucky day for the track.
That's the way I saw it too. Smart Ruler's assumed heart attack was terribly sad. He had given his all for his owner / trainer over the years, and just one of those horses who went about everything with his ears pricked. Kensukes Kingdom - who won the first - battled all the way to the line, so to have sustained an injury in the final strides was desperately sad for a horse who looked like he had a good future over the sticks. The other two - Leather Belly and Sierra Oscar - as EKW said were injured at different parts of the track, and NH races at Musselburgh by nature, aren't run at desperate speed, simply because it's a sharp track with tight bends. So far, not one trainer, including one who lost one of their horses yesterday, have blamed the track or the going, but it's understandable why there needs to be an inquiry anyway. It was a terrible statistic for one day's racing.

EKW - I hope Simone recovers okay. She was running a good race.
 

Mariposa

Active Member
Joined
9 May 2011
Messages
1,388
Well a better's day racing today I think. Sandown was like a bog though wasn't it? I thought Un De Seux lost nothing in the defeat either, two true chasing warriors.

EKW - hope Arthur came home ok after his solo spin, so unfortunate so early on in the race. Must have been very frustrating for you all. He looked so well I thought, such a lovely horse.
 

Clodagh

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2005
Messages
12,913
Location
Essex
Today was fabulous, I have just watched it. Un de Sceaux goes like a demon, he was just beaten by top class. It was a really good race.
I get nervous now watching Altior race, and nearly fell off the chair when he stood off the open ditch! I'm not yet quite at the state of terror I used to get to with Sprinter Sacre, but working on it. :)
 

EKW

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2011
Messages
8,731
The Tingle Creek was some race! 2 greats battling it out again! It reminds me of, Moscow Flyer, Well Cheif and Azertyuiop! Its good to have some seasoned rivals pitching against each other again! Its beena bit of wait since the Denman/Kauto Star era!

Arthur is absolutely fine! Frustrating that he didn't get much of a race but hey! That's racing! He is home safe and out in the field this morning which is the main thing!
 
Joined
29 September 2012
Messages
756
It was a wonderful day, it was a privilege to see Altior in action, he made it look effortless.
Lovely to see sire du grugy in the parade ring, he looked very well and was enjoying the experience.
 
Top