We realize it's a purely cosmetic change...
Is it really? Doesn't it do a difference wether a horse starts first or last? I asked myself this question when I first played Winner's Circle a few weeks ago (I too had played Royal Turf before).
I'm sure you know that you could always try the "crowded field" official variant. I like the idea of every horse starting at the same space but don't like the fact that they can also share a space along the field.