Carlisle is located in the village of Blackwell, close to the county town of Carlisle in Cumbria County, England. It is a dual-race type course, owned by Jockey Club Racecourses. Action from the track is televised on Racing UK.
The current location of the track has been in active use since 1904, although racing in the area was active much earlier. The Carlisle Bell was first run in 1599.
The first grandstand opened as the track came into business, but as required upgrades over the years as the number of spectators has increased. In the 60s, refurbishments adapted the course for night racing and a new grandstand was built. The Jubilee Grandstand of 2002 is still the largest upgrade of recent times.
Carlisle also holds the honour of first British course to have Tote betting, which was introduced in 1929.
The course runs over a length of 1-mile 2-furlongs. It is mostly flat, with a steep uphill towards the finish. Flat and National races are run here, making the ground a busy venue throughout the year. Jump races are held at every end of the April-September flat competition period.
Access is possible by road, rail or air, with a bus service operating between the track and the station for £1.60 each way. The train station is 2.2 miles off, and helicopter landing would require an advance approval.
Carlisle Bell, rated among the oldest known horse races worldwide, is run at The Carlisle. Cumberland Chase, Graduation Chase and Cumberland Plate are other popular races forming part of the circle.
Red Rum, the great Grand National champion horse from the 70s, has a unique attachment to Carlisle. The triple-Grand National winner prepared for each of his big wins with successful warm up runs here, and to date the entire Carlisle fraternity is proud of that stat to no end. October’s Red Rum racing Day is named in his honour.