Why have riders praised Irish racetracks compared to British ones?

Why have riders praised Irish tracks over British ones?

Two of the most prominent jump jockeys around, have led the criticism and come out claiming that the fences at Ireland's major chasing tracks are typically much more fitting and safer, than those in Great Britain.

Robbie Power - who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard the soon-to-be returning Sizing John in 2017, believes work should be done on the take-off side of the fences, at a number of Britain's leading courses, to make racing much more secure for both horse and rider.

This backed up the view of Harry Skelton - currently second in the British Stobart Jump Jockeys Championship, who feels the upright nature of larger obstacles at some venues forces them to be 'trappy and unfair.'

Both men were speaking in the aftermath of Saturday's Betfair Chase at Haydock, where Nicky Henderson blamed Might Bite's poor run, due to the fact he was scared of the scopey and mountainous size of the fences, ignoring the obvious - that they are much more dangerous.

In fact, in the days prior to the meeting, a BHA Observer had deemed some fences too high and too stiff, but nothing was done. This led to seven fallers from 25 horses involved in chasing races, comparing that to only four fallers in larger fields, on the same card twelve months ago.

(Credit: Racing Post) Speaking at Navan on Sunday, Robbie Power said: "The fences at Leopardstown, Punchestown, Navan and Fairyhouse are by far the best I have ever ridden over. They are much superior to those on British racecourses by a long way,"

"In general terms, tracks in Britain could improve their fences by increasing the size of the take-off boards at the plain fences and providing more of an apron.

"When I'm riding to a fence I'm not looking at the top of the fence. I'm always looking at the take-off board – and I think a horse shows more respect to a fence with a bigger board."

"At some British tracks the boards are too low, so much so that at a lot of them, Cheltenham included, the ditches ride better than the plain fences because the ditches have an imposing take-off board and a big apron," he finished.

Skelton on-the-other-hand, feels some fences in England are designed inadequately, and would perhaps like to see them become much wider.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "In my opinion, the biggest problem with fences isn't their size or stiffness," said Skelton.

"The problem is some tracks have very upright fences. That's what I don't consider to be fair. You can't have a big, stiff fence without any belly on it.

"Fences do differ from track to track. I would sometimes say to Dan (Skelton - brother and trainer) that I wouldn't go to a particular racecourse with a first-time-out novice because the fences aren't fair.

"The fences at Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown are big but they are fair. Their take-off boards are so far out that if a horse gets in tight to the bottom he should have enough time to get his front end out, up and over, which will then allow him to jump the fence cleanly.

"A horse should have time to correct himself at a fence but that doesn't happen everywhere. An upright stiff fence draws a horse in to the bottom of the fence, catches him out and becomes a trap, because he doesn't have enough time to get his front end up," Skelton said.

Response

In response to these comments, the head of media at the BHA - Robin Mounsey said (Credit: Racing Post): "The view is that the fences at courses like Leopardstown and Punchestown are certainly conducive for top-quality horses jumping fences at speed, but there is an argument that they are less suitable for horses of a different calibre to jump on a routine basis.

"The fences at many British courses are designed for that broader spectrum of horses and the slightly more upright construction is designed to ensure more respect for the fences and therefore reduce speed and increase safety."

Free Bets & Offers


🏆 BET £10 ON ASCOT & GET £50 IN FREE BETS! 🏆
18+. Play Safe. New customers only with promo code G50. Place an initial bet with a minimum stake of £10/€10. Mobile only. Prize is five free bets worth £10/€10 each and 100 free spins to play on selected games. Terms and conditions apply.
Claim Bonus
🦁 Bet £10 & Get £30 FREE BETS + a £10 NO-LOSE bet on ALL England matches! 🦁
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&Cs apply. **18+. IRE & UK mobile customers only. Customer must place a bet of up to £/€10 to qualify. Max Free Bet £/€10. 1st pre-live single only on any market for all England matches from 11/06/2021 - 11/07/2021. One qualifying bet per match (first bet placed). Free/void/cashed out bets won't qualify. On losing selections only. Free Bet will expire after 7 days.
Claim Bonus
🤩 Bet £10 & GET £50 FREE BETS + 100 Free Spins 🤩
18+. Play Safe. New customers only with promo code G50. Place an initial bet with a minimum stake of £10/€10. Mobile only. Prize is five free bets worth £10/€10 each and 100 free spins to play on selected games. Terms and conditions apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS ON THE EUROS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £20 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.
Claim Bonus
Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10 & get £20 in FREE BETS for the Euros! 🔴
New customers only, min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from Debit card only. Paypal not accepted. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi selection). 2x £10 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cash out. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🦁 Bet £10 & Get £20 FREE BETS + an extra £5 FREE BET for every goal England score vs Scotland! 🦁
*New members. £10 min bet on sportsbook at 1.5 min odds placed and settled before kick-off of England v Scotland on 18/06. 2x £10 Free Bet Tokens, accept within 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance. Extra £5 Free Bet Token per England goal against Scotland valid for 7 days. Click here for Rules. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org 18+.
Claim Bonus
🇫🇷 FRANCE TO BEAT GERMANY @ 14/1 - RETURNS £13 CASH + £57 FREE BETS 🇫🇷
New customers only • Max Bet £5 • £10 deposit using promo code • Free bets are granted within 72 hours and expires after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal, payment methods, and country restrictions & full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
😍 BET £20 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS FOR EURO 2020! 😍
New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bets rewarded as 4 equal free bets that total £40. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10, Get £20 in free bets! 🔴
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
Claim Bonus
💎 BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS FOR EURO 2020 💎
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £20 AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
Bet £10 & Get £20 FREE BETS for the Euros! 💪
18+ | New UK players only | Not available in conjunction with other offers | Min deposit £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Bet £10 | Min odds 1.50 (1/2) | | Min stake £10 | Max FreeBet £20 | FreeBet valid for 3 days on Football | T&Cs apply
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 casino bonus! 🟠
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Open account offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 £30 back in CASH if your 1st bet loses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Deposit, opt-in and place your first bet on any football market within 7 days of opening your account. We’ll refund up to £30 in cash if your 1st bet loses. T&Cs Apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.
Claim Bonus