What is the going?

Range of the going


The going is a term that is used to describe the conditions of the turf that is raced on. It is largely dependent on the weather leading up and during a race meeting. The more rain that falls will slow the surface, while little precipitation will allow the ground to harden, quickening it up.  This information is important for trainers, jockeys and punters, everyone really, as some horses act and behave differently on different types of ground. Furthermore, it is consulted when assessing the safety of the track for racing. In some cases, the going may be managed by the clerk of the course, who may water it to stop the ground becoming too firm.


The range of terms used to describe the going goes from: firm-good to firm-good-good to soft-soft-heavy.


Each term can be altered in way that accurately describes all areas of the turf,. For example, GOOD (Good to soft in places) or SOFT (Heavy in places).


The Going Stick


The going of the course has traditionally been measured by the clerk using a stick and assessing the penetration resistance. As such, each reading is based on opinion and makes it difficult to compare and contrast with other locations.

The Going Stick is a now widely used piece of apparatus that is endorsed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). The Going Stick measures the penetration resistance of the surface, up to 100mm, in a way that accurately replicates the force a horse galloping would have on the ground. The measurements are presented as numbers on a 15 point scale. Readings from 3.0-6.9 representing softer ground, 7.0-8.9 good ground, and anything above 9.0 indicating firmer ground.