Jump races – Why do some horses appear to get a ‘flyer’ whilst others seem to be left behind?

29 Apr 14

In recognising the importance of a fair Start – both for the sport itself and for those betting on it – the Starter is looking for a tightly bunched and controlled field walking forwards towards the Starting Gate. The Starter is not, however, in a position to interfere with the likely tactics of the participants. Sometimes, the rest of the field can be very happy to let a known front runner go on in front and set the pace of the race. Similarly, a horse that is known to want cover behind other horses might be asked to ‘drop in’ at the back of the field, seemingly off the main pace in the race. Whilst in these scenarios it can appear that horses are not starting in the optimum tight bunch, the Starter accepts that each participant is nevertheless happy with their starting position and is ready to begin the race.