Wetherby is known for jump racing, although they do now host a small handful of flat meetings to finish off their season. Flat racing takes place during the spring and in early summer, before they close down to get ready for October and the start of the new jumps season. It is the jumps that takes priority though, with some top class action at the course throughout the season, a big race is never too far away on the Wetherby fixture list.
The course is a flat course that is relatively easy to jump around, with no tricky sections of either the hurdles or chase course. It is an ideal place for those who are lacking in experience, and also for those who may not quite stay the distance, so don’t let that put you off backing a horse here. Much like another Yorkshire jumps course, Doncaster, there is a long flat straight at Wetherby, and plenty of time for horses to make their move and get in a winning position, it is very rare you see an unlucky loser at the track.
This is a nice course to introduce a newcomer in, so don’t be put off by a horse either making their full debut, or going chasing for the first time. There is plenty of space between the flights, no jumping while going around the bend and time to make ground up after the final flight. All that points to a nice introduction for newcomers, so make sure you keep them in mind when betting at Wetherby.
Horses can win from anywhere at Wetherby, both from the front and from off the pace. There is plenty of room to make a move when coming up the home straight, and plenty of time after the final flight to make one last push up the run in. That makes Wetherby fair, with front runners and those off the pace having an equal chance of winning, generally there are no hard luck stories and the best horse usually wins.
Don’t be too put off by doubtful stayers. Wetherby is a fair and flat track, if a horse is trying a new distance for the very first time then Wetherby is a place where they are likely to get it. They may struggle elsewhere to get home, but the track here gives them every chance to do so.
Races of Note on the Calendar
The Charlie Hall Chase
The first big chase of the jump racing calendar is the Charlie Hall Chase. This is a fantastic race and one that always attracts a nice field, with potential Gold Cup horses beginning their campaign here. This is the biggest race of the season at the track, and one that they promote brilliantly, it is a great two day meeting and one I would highly recommend.
The Towton Novices’ Chase
This race continues to grow in strength, and is a nice trial for potential RSA Chase hopefuls. As with many graded novice chasers around the country, field size and strength can vary for this race depending on who is targeting it, although it does usually throw up a decent winner. This race takes place in February, just when horses are coming to the boil and thinking about Cheltenham, so it is often worth keeping an eye on for punters.