October is slowly on its way and with it the inevitable changing of the seasons in more way than one, the leaves in the trees will be changing from a purest green to a golden brown before dropping to the floor and to the horror of many commuters they will also drop onto the railway lines too!

It also signals the changing of the codes of racing too with the flat gearing up for its big swan song on Champions Day at Ascot before the inevitable flame being extinguished at Doncaster on November Handicap Day and mixed in with that we have the big Saturday’s at Newmarket and for many people myself included it’s the return of the National Hunt game.

While I enjoy going to the flat during the summer months I do admit that come mid September usually after the St Leger I do start to get the itch again for the jumpers, I don’t mind summer jumping but I don’t follow it that much, October 5th is when things get going as I will be heading off down to Warwick and ease back into it at a low key meeting to get my eye in for the next seven months or so, the equivalent of a football team having a pre season friendly plus the card has three novice events programmed which hopefully will get some of the big yards bringing out a nice sort or two.

October is slowly on its way and with it the inevitable changing of the seasons in more way than one, the leaves in the trees will be changing from a purest green to a golden brown before dropping to the floor and to the horror of many commuters they will also drop onto the railway lines too!

It also signals the changing of the codes of racing too with the flat gearing up for its big swan song on Champions Day at Ascot before the inevitable flame being extinguished at Doncaster on November Handicap Day and mixed in with that we have the big Saturday’s at Newmarket and for many people myself included it’s the return of the National Hunt game.
While I enjoy going to the flat during the summer months I do admit that come mid September usually after the St Leger I do start to get the itch again for the jumpers, I don’t mind summer jumping but I don’t follow it that much, October 5th is when things get going as I will be heading off down to Warwick and ease back into it at a low key meeting to get my eye in for the next seven months or so, the equivalent of a football team having a pre season friendly plus the card has three novice events programmed which hopefully will get some of the big yards bringing out a nice sort or two.

The winter game has real a soul to it and with it plenty of things that I enjoy, not just attending the big meetings but the varying experiences such as the following.


1. October and November novice events.

You always get nice races here especially during the week at the likes of Warwick,Ludlow and Huntingdon when a big trainer will unleash a potential Cheltenham hopeful that will hack up and get a price straightaway for one of the festival races.

2. Racing over Christmas.

We are truly spoiled over the festive period, after the visit of Santa everything is focused on Kempton and Chepstow and in Ireland the four day jamborees of Leopardstown and Limerick.

3. The Nationals.

Now their is only one Grand National of course but lovers of staying chases get spoilt rotten not just with the home nation ones but the recent influx over the years of “satellite national” such as Midlands,Southern,Sussex,Norfolk,North Yorkshire,West Wales and last season brought about the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh.

4. Travelling back.

Due to the clocks going back at the end of October this means all journeys back from racing is done when it’s dark and for me their is nothing more atmospheric when the horses have run the last race just as the light is fading and they are being led back to the stables and you begin your way home, Memories are still fresh as the morning dew as you travel back with the radio on catching up on the current football scores before arriving home at a reasonable hour due to the time.

5. Replacement AW meetings.

An odd one I agree but inevitably every few seasons or so the weather gets in the way of jumps racing and despite the use of frost covers it can lead to meetings being called off, a few times when this has occurred the BHA will sanction an extra AW meeting on a Saturday.

I do have a liking for Wolverhampton when it comes to the AW, I find it a very functional course and easy to get around from parade ring to the betting shop to the main stand plus it’s an hour from my local mainline station Wigan and when Jack Frost gets in the way of the jumpers you feel glad to be seeing racing of some sort.

6. The Monday before Cheltenham.

For some reason the world has people who think the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, these people are clearly wrong as any fan of national hunt racing knows that the Monday before the Cheltenham Festival just drags on and on seemingly forever, you could watch all the Star Wars,Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies combined all day and it still probably wouldn’t make a dint on the time.

So as the flat slowly begins to wind down its time to bring the tweed overcoat out from its summer hibernation and put the Panama to sleep before exchanging it for the flat cap as we get ready for some of the best racing around.

1. October and November novice events.

You always get nice races here especially during the week at the likes of Warwick,Ludlow and Huntingdon when a big trainer will unleash a potential Cheltenham hopeful that will hack up and get a price straightaway for one of the festival races.

2. Racing over Christmas.

We are truly spoiled over the festive period, after the visit of Santa everything is focused on Kempton and Chepstow and in Ireland the four day jamborees of Leopardstown and Limerick.

3. The Nationals.

Now their is only one Grand National of course but lovers of staying chases get spoilt rotten not just with the home nation ones but the recent influx over the years of “satellite national” such as Midlands,Southern,Sussex,Norfolk,North Yorkshire,West Wales and last season brought about the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh.

4. Travelling back.

Due to the clocks going back at the end of October this means all journeys back from racing is done when it’s dark and for me their is nothing more atmospheric when the horses have run the last race just as the light is fading and they are being led back to the stables and you begin your way home, Memories are still fresh as the morning dew as you travel back with the radio on catching up on the current football scores before arriving home at a reasonable hour due to the time.

5. Replacement AW meetings.

An odd one I agree but inevitably every few seasons or so the weather gets in the way of jumps racing and despite the use of frost covers it can lead to meetings being called off, a few times when this has occurred the BHA will sanction an extra AW meeting on a Saturday.

I do have a liking for Wolverhampton when it comes to the AW, I find it a very functional course and easy to get around from parade ring to the betting shop to the main stand plus it’s an hour from my local mainline station Wigan and when Jack Frost gets in the way of the jumpers you feel glad to be seeing racing of some sort.

6. The Monday before Cheltenham.

For some reason the world has people who think the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, these people are clearly wrong as any fan of national hunt racing knows that the Monday before the Cheltenham Festival just drags on and on seemingly forever, you could watch all the Star Wars,Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies combined all day and it still probably wouldn’t make a dint on the time.

So as the flat slowly begins to wind down its time to bring the tweed overcoat out from its summer hibernation and put the Panama to sleep before exchanging it for the flat cap as we get ready for some of the best racing around.

Article  by @WattyRacing 

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