Ever watched the action from the Cheltenham Festival and wondered why there are two tracks?
Never seen it in your lift and don’t really know what we’re waffling on about?
Well, either way we’ve got all the answers you’ll ever need, courtesy of racing legend – and Paddy’s pal – Ruby Walsh.
He was asked about the new and old tracks at Cheltenham on our latest ‘Punters’ Panel’ From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast special, which you can listen to below.
So, take it away, Ruby…
RUBY WALSH: The New and Old courses at Cheltenham are hugely different.
The New Course is on the inside and it’s more of a galloping track. The Old Course are the two tracks on the outside.
The Old Course course is the widest track, next in is the Old Course, inside again is the new hurdle course and on the very inside is the New Chase course.
The biggest difference is when you turn into the back straight it’s like-for-like for the first three-four furlongs and as you climb you continue to climb on the New Course.
The Old Course turns across the new course at the top of the hill whereas the new course continues straight on and descends much more gradually than the New Course.
The Old Course turns sharply and descends quite quickly so you can run down and gather momentum and have a shorter run back up the hill in the home straight.
On the New Course you descend much more gradually and when you do get to the bottom you’re further down the hill and you’ve got more climbing to do.
It all means that the Old Course is a faster track and the New Course is a more stamina-laden track.
As regards to riding them, you probably have to be a bit more patient on the New Course than you do on the Old Course.
It is harder to make up ground on the Old Course, they need to go really quick and get tired for you to make up ground on the Old Course whereas, on the New Course, if they go a fraction too quick you can make up a lot of ground.
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL RACES ON THE OLD COURSE
Tuesday, March 12
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Ultima Handicap Chase
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
National Hunt Chase
Wednesday, March 13
Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
Cross Country Chase
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL RACES ON THE NEW COURSE
Thursday, March 14
Turners Novices’ Chase
Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle
Plate Handicap Chase
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
Friday, March 15
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Cheltenham Gold Cup
St James’s Place Festival Hunter Chase
Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
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