Right handed, flat and essentially sharp in character. One of the sharpest tests in the country when the ground is firmer than good, hold-up tactics usually counter-productive, but on very testing going the course can provide a surprisingly thorough test, often resulting in strung-out fields and a low percentage of completions, especially on the hurdles course, perhaps a cause of its fundamentally tight nature ensuring races are well run regardless of conditions, front runners often overdoing things. The fences are stiff, with the three in the home straight coming so close together that it often proves difficult to come from behind.
Wincanton represents a proper jumping test, where speed, stamina and accuracy are required in abundance, especially on the chase course. It’s no surprise there have been so many top-class horses winning here over the years as it takes a bit of doing. The hurdles track provides a real speed test in the likes of the Elite and Kingwell hurdles, and both have seen some champion hurdle prospects in recent times. Key feature requirements around here are strong travellers and very good jumpers. The cross fence before turning for home can prove tricky for so many, especially a novice.