Classification of NH Courses

I must admit that this is something I’ve never paid much heed to in the past.  I now believe I should have.  I’ll give just one example here of why, possibly, we are sometimes surprised by upsets in form.  While I was preparing this I was looking at a bet the other day at Fakenham.  The horse that caught my eye was a novice chaser called Get It On and it had won its previous race some 24 days earlier by an easy 16 lengths at Sedgefield. It was now favourite in what looked an easier race with only 6 runners. I backed it and watched the race. It came going easily in the last furlong, looking as if about to win, but was then passed and beaten by six lengths. I was rather surprised. As I was working on this course classification at the time I looked to that to see if it offered any explanation. Sedgefield and Fakenham are both Left Handed courses, so no problem there. Both are described as sharp tracks, so again all is well. The going and distance were near enough the same, but then came something that I’m sure was crucial. Sedgefield is described as a fair track, but Fakenham is down as testing. Was that the difference that caused my horse to falter and get beaten in the run to the line? I think the lesson is clear. Don’t be too sure about taking form from an easy or fair course to one that is testing. 

Left Handed

Aintree: Galloping – Testing
Ayr: Gallopiong – Fair
Bangor: Galloping – Fair
Cartmel: Galloping – Testing
Catterick: Sharp – Testing
Cheltenham: Galloping – Testing
Chepstow: Undulating – Fair
Doncaster: Galloping – Fair
Fakenham: Sharp – Testing
Fontwell: Hurdle, Sharp – Fair. Chase, Figure of eight
Haydock: Galloping – Testing
Hexham: Undulating – Testing
Kelso: Galloping – Testing
Lingfield: Sharp – Fair
Newbury: Galloping – Fair
Newcastle: Galloping – Testing
Newton Abbot: Sharp – Fair
Nottingham: Average – Easy
Plumpton: Undulating – Testing
Sedgefield: Sharp – Fair
Southwell: Average – Easy
Stratford: Galloping – Fair
Uttoxeter: Galloping – Testing
Warwick: Average – Fair
Wetherby: Average – Fair
Wolverhampton: Average – Fair
Worcester: Average – Easy

Right Handed

Ascot: Galloping – Testing
Carlisle: Galloping – Testing
Exeter: Galloping – Fair
Hereford: Average – Fair
Huntingdon: Galloping – Testing
Kempton: Galloping – Fair
Leicester: Galloping – Testing
Ludlow: Galloping – Testing
Market Rasen: Galloping – Fair
Musselburgh: Sharp – Testing
Perth: Average – Easy
Sandown: Galloping – Testing
Taunton: Average – Fair
Towcester: Sharp – Testing
Wincanton: Galloping – Testing