This is a hilly course, galloping in nature. Conditions can get extremely testing in midwinter and the exact opposite in drier periods, the course being without an artificial watering system. Its right-handed two-mile circuit is laid out in a long oval, with eleven fences and a run-in of around 170 yards. The chase course is on the outside of the hurdles one, but the inside track is often used on the home turn regardless of whether the races are over fences or not. The half-mile home straight is on the rise all the way to the finish.
Exeter is a beautiful track - in my opinion definitely one of the best in Britain - and it’s a great place to take a novice chaser. The fences are very fair and the ground is usually lovely. Years ago, they seemed to struggle to water around there, partly, I imagine, because the course covers such a vast expanse of land. But it holds its condition really well now and it’s a great place to ride. It’s a fine test of a horse - really good - and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that so many top trainers like to go there.