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sparrow
17 Apr 22 08:28
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Date Joined: 20 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 44,683 | Blogger: sparrow's blog
Ffos Las, Market Rasen and Plumpton.
Pause Switch to Standard View 21 Jump Races with 1 double figure field
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Report Life-Lucky April 17, 2022 8:52 AM BST
Cork and Fairyhouse, 16 races, just 4 fewer than 10 runners
Report Life-Lucky April 17, 2022 8:53 AM BST
Plenty of runners in Ireland, 16 jumps races, only 4 of them single-figure fields
Report Dr Crippen April 17, 2022 11:05 AM BST
Too many runners in Irish racing for the serious punter to look at .
Report differentdrum April 17, 2022 11:13 AM BST
Preferable to the four successive 'schooling races' at Newbury where 99% of punters will be clueless as to ability, and readiness, or otherwise, of the participants?
Report Dr Crippen April 17, 2022 11:35 AM BST
Why would a dislike of large fields, make one a fan of betting in fields full of unexposed runners?
Report Tiger Tiger April 17, 2022 11:59 AM BST
There has always been races with that quantity of runners in NH Racing, what's the problem?
Report wondersobright April 17, 2022 12:04 PM BST
OP should stick to betting football Laugh
Report barstool April 17, 2022 12:08 PM BST
Not a surprise to see fewer runners this time of the year now the ground is drying out. There are also four jump meetings tomorrow. Trying to fill that many races with double figure runners is impossible. Just be selective with the races you bet in.
Report The Pies April 17, 2022 12:17 PM BST
I don't think I've seen a detailed analysis of why runners seem to be down. Is it due to a decline in runners in training or that there have been relatively few abandonments this season? Ground conditions are probably a factor now.
Report Dr Crippen April 17, 2022 12:29 PM BST
There has always been races with that quantity of runners in NH Racing, what's the problem?


Perfectly true.
Report ged April 18, 2022 7:23 AM BST
No, there's not always been this quantity.

50 years ago, there were 8 NH meetings on Easter Monday, including the equivalents of today's 4 - Chepstow, Fakenham, Huntingdon and Plumpton. (Then there were also Hereford, Market Rasen, Towcester and Uttoxeter, with Kempton, Newcastle, Warwick and Nottingham on the flat).

The 4 meetings 50 years ago had 289 declared runners (in 25 races); today's 4 have 185 runners (in 28).

That's a drop from 11.6 runners per race to 6.6

The number of declared runners at each meeting then were:
Chep - 67
Fake - 71
Plum - 66
Hunt - 85


Today:
Chep - 57
Fake - 40
Plum - 41
Hunt - 47
Report ged April 18, 2022 7:33 AM BST
The only one of those 4 meetings 50 years ago to have more than 6 races was Huntingdon, which had the Brampton Hurdle divided into 2 divisions - a total of 30 runners - a couple of the fancied ones were useful on the flat - Clip Joint and Monaco Tan.
Report ged April 18, 2022 8:00 AM BST
Slight correction to the above - there 10 NH meetings on Easter Monday 50 years ago - Newton Abbot and Wetherby also raced - there wasn't room for their cards in the paper.

Abbot had at least 4 double-figure fields amongst their 7 races, and Wetherby 3 of their 6 were. (Red Rum was 3rd of 5 at 9/1).
Report sparrow April 18, 2022 8:25 AM BST
Thank you for that information ged. Sometimes people forget or maybe are just not old enough to remember.
Report ged April 18, 2022 9:18 AM BST
Missed another one. Wincanton also raced that day. So that's 11 NH meetings. Wincanton had 60 runners in their 6 races, and that's after 6 non-runners.
Report jackdaw April 18, 2022 9:59 AM BST
Ged, of equal relevance would be the average prize money for winning those races then as opposed to now. After inflation it would be well down now.
Report TheAnorak April 18, 2022 10:07 AM BST
Fifty years ago, there were no rating bands, so you could run your horse anywhere you liked. If it was a good one and you sent it to Plumpton, you carried 12-7 and nobody complained. There were no multiple penalties for novice wins, so if you had a hurdler or chaser that had won two or three races earlier in the season, you could run against a field of maidens with just a 7lb penalty. I can remember lots of races like that in the 70's, as connections tried to pick up some modest prize money before the summer shutdown. Pot hunting was the usual term employed for this practice.

Fifty years ago, Aintree was still a mixed meeting - fifty years ago, no southern trainer sent horses to Ayr or Perth, because the M6 and the M74 had yet to be invented. Sandown staged the Whitbread but the rest of the card was flat racing. Fifty years ago, there were no races limited to mares only, no races limited to N H novices only.

Now I'm not trying to say that those are the sole reasons for the current small fields, but there's no question that changes made to the racing program have almost all produced smaller fields as an unintended consequence. I also reckon the Covid panic has had an effect, as people stopped buying two years ago (there were no sales anyway) due to the uncertainty and that's reflected now in the lack of runners in novice hurdles and bumpers. When racing restarted, NH prize money was cut much more than flat for the first 6 - 9 months and that was the main reason I sold my only jumper and opted to conentrate on the flat.

And of course, the final reason, the one I hear most often when talking with people that own or have owned NH horses - what's the point if we can't even get into the races at Cheltenham because they are filled by Irish runners, and if we do get in, we can't beat them. Take away the dream and people start looking at the costs and concluding it's not worth it.
Report ged April 18, 2022 10:51 AM BST
Quiz quesion then...

Which horse won the feature race at Towcester that day (the 2nd most valuable race of the day after Kempton's Queen's Prize), and then went to stud and almost got the treble up, siring a winner of the Grand National, a winner of the Champion Hurdle, and a 2nd in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Report The Pies April 18, 2022 11:13 AM BST
Just looking at 1988 and there were 12 jumps and 4 flat meets on Easter Monday. Seem to remember that on the August bank holiday in the 80s both Wolves and Warwick had flat meetings and there weren't enough sets of stalls to go around so one had to have flag starts to races
Report Dr Crippen April 18, 2022 11:46 AM BST
I'm sure ged's figures are correct, but he's taking one date in isolation and comparing it to today's figures.
The state of the ground for instance makes a big difference to the numbers that are prepared to race.
Get a dry summer and the fields will shink.

I suppose if someone cherry-picked another date, the figures might be similar to todays.

This shortage of runners over the sticks has been with us for decades.
Report Dr Crippen April 18, 2022 11:53 AM BST
Get a dry summer and the fields will shink.

Should be.

Get a dry spell of weather
Report Brian April 18, 2022 12:02 PM BST
Frankly I can't understand why people pay not inconsiderable amounts to go to meetings with  few runners (such as Fakenham today as one example) unless  they live locally or have an interest in a runner. If these courses make less money on days like today, market forces will prevail and we will have less such meetings on bank holidays.
Report Dr Crippen April 18, 2022 12:50 PM BST
Most people go racing for the purpose of backing a winner or two.

The harder they make it to find a winner, the fewer people will follow the game.

I'm not proposing a card full of three runner races, but I think that's preferable to a card with wide open fields of 20 runners or more, and little hope of getting a winner.

After all, regardless of the size of the field when the runners turn into the straight for the final time. How many are still in contention when the race to the line begins?

Which is why I like decent all-weather races. The fields are of a size that can be studied in depth.
Five to eight runners is enough for me.
Report Dr Crippen April 18, 2022 12:54 PM BST
I think this yearning for big fields is a bookie's ploy.

They know the bigger the field, the more chance they've got of cleaning up with outsiders.
Report The Pies April 18, 2022 1:39 PM BST
I'm with you Dr, 5-8 runners ideal especially a sprint handicap.
Report The Management April 18, 2022 2:45 PM BST
The less runners, the less likely that you will get a race run at true pace imo.

I don't have an issue with races that aren't true run (sometimes i even bet on French races!) - it's just a different approach - but I like to visualise how a race will be run and that's much easier to do if you think a race will be a true pace (imo).
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