Tag Archive for: Tapeta

A New Era Begins at Southwell Today

Ask a racing trainer or jockey, or a professional bettor, which is the best all-weather track in Britain and they'll likely tell you Lingfield or Kempton or perhaps Newcastle or even Chelmsford. What they won't say is Southwell. But all that looks about to change with the debut this tea time of the Rolleston venue's new tapeta surface.

It has been widely held that, conformationally, Southwell is the best oval in British all-weather racing, but its fibresand surface was a thoroughly marmite affair for horsemen and women, and their horses. To succeed on the fibresand you needed a relentless galloper who could either get out in front or stomach the fierce kickback.

But the fibresand is no more, and the best all-weather course layout is now married to a 'latest generation' version of tapeta that has been wooing all-comers in racing trials in recent weeks. And, from four o'clock this afternoon, we'll all be able to see for ourselves how it rides.

Available now

Here at geegeez.co.uk we're mindful that the surface change is material. To that end, we've introduced a new 'surface' filter on both Full Form and Profiler. These filters allow users to see how a horse has performed on the various different synthetic cushions as well as turf.

You'll find the Full Form surface filter in the 'Course' block:


Selecting it will show only those form lines on a corresponding surface. In the case of Southwell now, that means only tapeta past performances:



Profiler also now differentiates between surfaces:



Still to come

I'm aware that as a consequence of the surface change, historical draw and run style biases - as well as sectional pars - may now be redundant. But they also might not. Moreover, it is likely that in the short term there will be a 'bedding in' period which may not reflect any longer-term draw and/or pace prejudices that come to pass. With that in mind, I'm loathe to simply start again from zero but, depending on how the first few weeks - and perhaps months - go, we may add the surface stipulation to our historical Southwell draw/pace tables and charts, and to our par calculations.

With regards to the Draw and Pace Analyser tools, there is no intention to change those. Users looking to explore Southwell performance there should, in due course, select the year 2022 to [another future year]. This will display all tapeta data bar meetings between now and year end, five fixtures in all.

The feeling from the trial day is that the surface may still favour led and prominent early run styles, so it will be interesting to see if that plays out.

Hopefully that all makes sense. Any questions, please ask in the comments below.


Southwell ready for new Tapeta era

A new era dawns at Southwell tomorrow when the Nottinghamshire track unveils its Tapeta surface.

Fibresand, which had been in use since 1989, was removed following racing there on August 15 and replaced with the new surface.

With that process completed successfully, officials are excited at finally seeing the new project come to fruition.

“It’s been a long few months since August and the start of the project. The whole team is excited and looking forward to tomorrow and the future with the new surface,” said clerk of the course Paul Barker.

“I’d like to thank everybody, and all the owners and trainers, for supporting the opening day. It’s good quality and very good in numbers as well and something for everybody.

“There’s a good quality class two, a real high-quality class three and the usual class five and six and races for the young horses as well which is good. It’s a very good balanced programme for the opening day.”

The feature race on an eight-race programme is the £40,000 Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Winter Oaks Trial for which seven were declared.

Trainer Ed Dunlop is looking forward to getting Virgin Snow back into action after more than a year off the track though she has to give weight to all her rivals.

Trainer Ed Dunlop runs Virgin Snow in the feature race as Tapeta is introduced at Southwell
Trainer Ed Dunlop runs Virgin Snow in the feature race as Tapeta is introduced at Southwell (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

The daughter of six-time Group One winner Snow Fairy has been absent since finishing third in the Group Three Pride Stakes at Newmarket in October 2020.

“Virgin Snow has not run for a very long time due to a setback and on top of that she has to give a lot of weight away,” said Dunlop.

“This is very much a starting point and we are hoping to continue forward to the new race at Lingfield in the new year.

“She had some smart form as a three-year-old and it will be great to get her back on the track, but I expect her to improve a lot for the run.”

Regarding the new Tapeta surface, Dunlop added: “I am very pro the switch from Fibresand to Tapeta.

“Southwell is a fantastic racecourse – with a great layout – and I expect the racing there going forward will be well-subscribed and very popular.”