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Oliver Sherwood v Ed Walker on why their code is better

Jump trainer Oliver Sherwood
1 of 2

Why the jumps is best: Oliver Sherwood

Look, don't get me wrong, I love top-class Flat racing, but I think the public relates to the jumpers more than they do to Flat horses because they stick around longer and people can build a bond with them.

Some of the jump stars are around for seven or eight years – the Cue Cards, the Desert Orchids – and racegoers can develop a real following. It's hard for the public to feel involved with a horse who disappears after a season and a half and is never heard of again, apart from through their offspring.

It's fair to say jumping is still much more of a sport rather than a business, a minor course can always attract a sporting crowd and the atmosphere reflects that. Of course, I'm biased but I think the real difference between the two is that jumping still retains much more of its sporting nature than the Flat.

I'm very glad I'm a jumps trainer – but I think my bank manager would be happier if I trained on the Flat!


Why the Flat is best: Ed Walker

What you have in Flat racing, as opposed to the jumps, is speed –that's what I love, the speed and the power and the brilliance of Flat horses running at around 40mph, stretching out on fast ground in a wonderful spectacle.

Flat racing also has the breeding angle, a fascinating aspect of the whole sport that certainly has more relevance on the Flat than the jumps. When I first got into racing I was more interested in jumping, but as I grew older I got much more interested in the Flat, the shape of the calendar, the breeding angles.

One slightly off-key thing about jump racing is the whole season revolves around Cheltenham, which is a fantastic festival but does dominate everything. In the Post on Monday, two days after the end of the season, there was a piece focusing on best bets for Cheltenham 2018!

That's not the case on the Flat, where there's a succession of highlights practically every month - the Guineas meeting, the Derby and Royal Ascot, Goodwood, York, Doncaster, the big two-year-old races – not even counting all the big international events. There's always something just around the corner to look forward to.

I'm very glad I'm a jumps trainer – but I think my bank manager would be happier if I trained on the Flat!
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