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 & GET £60 IN FREE BETS! ✅ 🔥
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 50% UP TO £50 WELCOME BONUS 🏇🏼
18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+
CLAIM HERE
😍 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE ANY BET 😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. 5P MINIMUM STAKE. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS EXCLUDE VIRTUALS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus

🍀 Money Back as CASH up to £20 if your first bet loses! 🍀
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🐎 BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS 🐎
18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code Z40 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. #ad
Claim Bonus
😍 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES IF YOUR FIRST RACING BET LOSES + £10 CASINO BONUS!!! 😍
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Full T&Cs apply. #Ad.
Claim Bonus
🔸 GET MONEY BACK AS CASH UP TO £20 IF YOUR FIRST BET LOSES! 🔸
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ DEPOSIT £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 Bet £10 on horse racing & get £30 in free bets + £10 casino bonus! 🏇🏼
Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply.
CLAIM HERE
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET UP TO £50 IN FREE BETS!!!🎯
New users only. Free bets: place qual bets of £10-£50 (min odds 1/2, 2+ legs) in 1st 7 days to unlock. Awarded as 4 equal free bets that total 1st deposit amount. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs, + expire in 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and 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 crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🌟 Get a Free Bet up to £25 Plus 10 Free Spins!
Place a £10 Sportsbook bet on any Horse Racing market between the 18th & 20th of February, at min. odds 1/5 (1.2) — get £45 in free bets on bet settlement, valid 30 days. Only deposits via Cards will qualify (Apple Pay deposits excluded). T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🎯 Bet £10 & get £20 in free bets + Acca Rewards of your choice!!! 🎯
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&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🏇 BET £25 & GET 5x £5 IN FREE BETS! 🏇
Key Terms: Valid for new UK & Irish customers. Only customers registering and playing via mobile are eligible for this offer. Min qualifying deposit £25. Min odds apply for free bets. 2 day expiry for free bets. 18+.
CLAIM HERE
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus