The venue for one of Britain’s Group 1 flat races, the Lockinge Stakes, Newbury has a big reputation for hosting races over both codes. The Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle is also run here in the winter.
Trainers do tend to send some of their better horses here, not just in the obvious Pattern races, so it will usually take a good one (or at least a very well handicapped one) to win at this venue.
Newbury’s tracks are left-handed with both the flat and the National Hunt course described as fair and galloping by trainers and jockeys.
The straight mile, on which the Lockinge and the sprints take place, undulates the whole way to bear in mind that it takes just a tad more getting than a sharper track of the same length.
Finding a bigger horse with a fine stride can pay off, though such information isn’t necessarily available without seeing the horses live, and that can be doubly true in the rain when this track gets very testing.
While the straight track shows little in the way of a draw bias, the round mile can prove to be tough for those on the outer so remain aware of that.
Over on the jumps track, Newbury is well known for the fact that strong leaders are not often pegged back on the run-in and especially in chase races. The fences tend to be fair which suits novices fine, meaning you should get a fair round from your chosen animal.
Given said fair nature of the track, do not be put off given modern training standards with horses here carrying big weights in handicaps. A strong front-runner, or at least one that likes to go forward, carrying near enough top weight will not be faced with a particular disadvantage.
Top Trainers and Jockeys at Newbury
Newbury certainly has its little nuances, and so from a handicap betting point of view it helps to gain an advantage by knowing who the better trainers and jockeys are. The top handlers recently have been:
- William Haggas*
- John Gosden*
- Roger Varian*
- Sir Michael Stoute*
- Andrew Balding*
- Colin Tizzard
- Nicky Henderson
- Warren Greatrex
- Venetia Williams
- Philip Hobbs
- David Pipe
- Oliver Sherwood
The better-performing jockeys at Newbury are:
- Frankie Dettori*
- James Doyle*
- Jason Watson*
- Silvestre De Sousa*
- William Buick*
- Harry Cobden
- Tom Scudamore
- Richard Johnson
- Nico De Boinville
- Barry Geraghty
* Flat racing, others are National Hunt
Major Newbury Handicaps
Despite some of Newbury’s Group and Grade One heritage, the handicaps run here can be particularly competitive. These are the best of them.
|London Gold Cup||Lockinge Stakes Day||Class 2||1 mile, 2 furlongs|
|Gerry Feilden Hurdle||Winter Carnival, November/December||Listed||2 miles, 110 yards|
|Ladbrokes Trophy||Winter Carnival||Grade 3||3 miles, 2 furlongs, 110 yards|
|Betfair Hurdle||Denman Chase Meeting, February||Grade 3||2 miles, 110 yards|
|Greatwood Gold Cup (Chase)||Greatwood Day, March||Grade 3||2 miles, 4 furlongs|