Newcastle Racecourse, also known as Gosforth Park, has staged horseracing since 1882. Both the Flat and National Hunt Courses used to be turf, but a major redevelopment in 2015 and 2016 saw the Flat Track made into an all-weather track with a Tapeta surface.
The flagship flat meeting at Newcastle is the Northumberland Plate Meeting, which takes place towards the end of June, and the highlight of this three-day festival is the Northumberland Plate (also called the Pitmens’ Derby) which takes place over 2-miles on the third day, the Saturday. Meanwhile, other high-profile races at the meeting include the Chipchase Stakes and the Gosforth Park Cup, which are both sprints. The course differs from the other all-weather courses as races up to a mile are run on a straight course.
The highlights of the Jumps season include the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, which is the first-leg of the Triple Crown for hurdlers, with the second and third legs being the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Later in the season, the course hosts the Eider Chase which, whilst a prestigious race in its own right, is also a warm-up for the Grand National.
The draw seems to have little effect on the straight course, with being in the right place according to how the race is run more of an advantage. However, in races run on the round course, such as the Northumberland Plate, horses near the fence can enjoy a bit advantage providing the pace isn’t a suicidal one.
Like the round course on the all-weather track, the hurdles and chase tracks are left-handed, and are described as galloping tracks with a gradual uphill rise from the final bend to the winning line. The fences are quite stiff too, and races are generally run at a steady to even pace. On soft ground, jockeys will often bring their mounts over to the stands rail on the hurdle course.
Flat Trainers And Jockeys To Follow
Richard Fahey has had the most winners of any trainer in the last 3 seasons with 31 winners from 255 runners, but you’d be showing a big loss if backing all of his horses. However, one trainer to keep an eye on is Ian Jardine, whose 16 winners from 124 rides has produced a nice profit of +£21.
Due to the competitive nature of most of the horseracing at Newcastle, it’s hard to pinpoint a jockey to follow.
Jumps Trainers And Jockeys To Follow
Sue Smith has trained the most chasers at Newcastle over the last 3 seasons, but the trainer to keep an eye on in the future could be Keith Dalgleish, who is better known as a flat trainer. He’s sent out 4 winners from 5 runners over fences, and won with his only Bumper runner in the last 3 years. Meanwhile, other names to note are Rebecca Menzies and MT Walford.
Tony Kelly, Grant Cockburn and Jamie Hamilton are three of Newcastle’s top-10 jumps jockeys over the last 3 seasons, and have all shown a level-stakes profit.