How is a Jump race distance measured?
The word “About” is used in every jump race distance description as the running rail on bends in particular are moved or “dolled out” from time to time during the jumps season. This is especially true in winter when there is no grass growth and ground has to be managed to avoid poached areas and produce the safest going for horse and rider.
The official distances (measured with a measuring wheel along the centre line of each jump hurdle/chase track) are all rounded to the nearest half furlong. So a race described as “abt 3 miles” will have fallen between the parameters of 2m 7f and 166yds and 3m and 55yds when measured to the exact yardage.
Racecourses now ensure they highlight any slight distance changes arising from moving the running rail on bends between fixtures. They advertise these changes in their routine going report updates.