Pontefract Racecourse

Pontefract is located within the market town by the same name in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, England. It is a flat-race type course owned by Pontefract Park Race Company Ltd, who have races listed on Racing UK.

History

Racing at Pontefract was introduced by townspeople in 1801, putting a professional touch to a sport that had existed in the town since the 15th century. In 1802, the course management sold £50 silver badges to racegoers, which would allow them to go to races for 20 years. The money raised was used to build the first grandstand.

The course opened a new grandstand in 1922 as it resumed hosting competitions after the World War I closure. It was one of few courses to remain open during the second World War, when it was used as an alternative venue for Lincoln Handicap and November Handicap.

Pontefract was the first course in England to introduce dope testing.

The course

The track is left handed flat, with a length slightly over two miles. It is the longest continuous flat track throughout Great Britain. It has a sharp turn and a five-furlong uphill towards the finish, challenging horses to develop their finishing kick.

Access is manly by road and rail, with the closest of three train stations in the town just 0.3 miles away. Traditionally, Pontefract started its races later that other courses in the country, to allow coal miners from an adjacent colliery to be in time for competitions after their morning shift. The colliery is now closed, and kick off times have been since re-adjusted.

2017 will see Pontefract offer the largest prize money package in their records, with a total of £1.13m up for grabs.

Races

Competition is active between April and October, the flat races period across the UK. 16 race days appear on its calendar, headlined by races like the Pontefract Castle Stakes, Flying Filly, Pipalong and Silver tankard.

Plumpton

Plumpton Racecourse is sited in East Sussex at the village of Plumpton near Brighton and Lewes. It is a small National Hunt course running counter clockwise. The circuit is slightly hilly and covers 1.6 km. The chase and hurdles courses share an uphill finish since the hurdles was moved to the outside of the chase course.

History of the course

The racecourse had its first official meeting on 11 February 1884. It was a good day for Cowslip, who won the first race of the day and won again later in the day. The rider, Harry Escott, got himself a treble. Plumpton is also remembered as the ground on which Tony McCoy got his 3000th win riding Restless d’Artaix, trained by Nicky Henderson.

Through its long existence, Plumpton has been kept going by the efforts of Thomas Henry, Isidore Kerman, Peter Savill and Adrian Pratt, who played different roles over the years which have modeled the racecourse to what it is today.

Notable events

The racecourse gives many race lovers what they don’t get too often, a close up look at the races. Being small as it, it offers a good view of the horses during the parade and all through the race. There are a number of notable races such as Ladies day, Friday Party Night Evening Race-meeting and Easter Family Festival.

The racecourse hosts 16 races in year and comes alive during the prominent events. Though the racecourse is not as big as most, it pulls in a crowd of over 2,000 people when it’s time for that anticipated fixture.

Hospitality and facilities

The racecourse is mostly managed by individuals rather than large companies. Even so, there have been great efforts to improve the facilities and quality of services, transforming the place into a suitable rural getaway. It also helps that the train station is just close by, you can easily make your way there from London.

Perth

Perth Racecourse is located at Scone Palace by Perth, Scotland. The racecourse has been a venue for thoroughbred horse racing since 1908. The racecourse has the perfect rural setting with the picturesque Parkland landscape and the historic Scone Palace just by.

Perth has a long history of horse racing that dates back to 1613. Scone Palace soon became the new venue for horse racing as a drinking ban drove it out of the North Inch. Lord Mansfield then offered a large acreage so that horse racing enthusiasts could continue enjoying the sport.

The course has a circumference of ten furlongs and is made as a steeplechase course. The course has eight fences with the water jump well placed in front of the grand stand.

History of the course

In 1908 as the racecourse was just starting, it hosted 2 meetings. This number went up to 13 and thus the sport of Kings had established itself professionally at a regal venue. Away from the fact that the scenic racecourse is close to a palace, it has entertained royalty when the Queen Mother attended race meetings twice, in the 70s.

Notable Races

Perth Racecourse comes alive with a packed calendar that runs from April to September. The known crowd pullers are the Perth Gold Cup Day which is famous because it comes just before Aintree and Cheltenham meetings. As such, it draws a lot of top class jockeys who test their fluidity on the obstacles.

Stan James.com Perth festival is also another favourite fixture. The festival is a 3 day treat of National Hunt racing and family fun.

Glorious Finale Meeting also lives up to the fanfare of an awaited fixture. As the season draws to a close, horseracing fans enjoy an annual celebration of the entrenched culture of the sport in Perth. The fixture dates back to the 17th century.

Other events

The racecourse is set in the ideal location for a wholesome experience and it does not let down one bit. When it is not busy hosting races, the venue is welcoming guests. The Nelson Stand has been designed for corporate events and has a stunning view of the racecourse.

Nottingham

Nottingham Racecourse is nestled in the leafy green of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire, England. It is located 3 km away from the city just close to River Trent in Colwick Park. The venue actually has two racecourses, with one inside the other. They are both left handed and are about 1.5 miles round. The outer course has a straight stretching for 6 furlongs and is used through the summer. The inner course is meant for spring and autumn and has a straight running for 5 furlongs.

The course hosts thoroughbred horseracing and is easy to ride on with trouble-free turns and a small gradient. The last turn as you come into the homestretch is, however, much sharper. It is the kind of racecourse that suits well-balanced horses rather than those with long strides.

History of the racecourse

The racecourse had already begun operating as far back as 1773. Back then it was located at Nottingham Forest Recreation Ground. It was during this time when it held a Royal Plate race granted by the monarch.

The racecourse was moved to its present location in Colwick Park in 1892 and later on in 1965 the entire 293 acre venue was bought by a local corporation. The corporation then leased the racecourse to Racecourse Holdings Trust as it seemed to be in jeopardy of closing. Today it is owned by Jockey Club Racecourses and has undergone so many improvements that it won the Gold Standard from the Racehorse Owners Association in 2014.

Until 1996, the racecourse held National Hunt racing but abandoned it to focus only on flat course racing and also improve ground conditions. The racecourse hosts 23 meetings each year.

Notable races

The two races that are known to draw crowds are the Further Flight Stakes and Kilvington Fillie’s Stakes- which runs on the Ladies’ Day. Aside from these, there is a host of other themed events that provide excellent entertainment and of course the thrill of racing.

Other events

The beautiful scenery of Colwick Park is inviting and the venue offers lots of treat for an afternoon out at the races. The rooftop restaurant offers a scenic view of the racecourse and the park coupled with good food. The hospitality is great and various packages are available for private events.

The racecourse has come a long way from the tumultuous early days to a sprawling venue with excellent facilities. Visitors can now enjoy two magnificent stands; the grandstand and the Centenary stand as well as good parking.

Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot Racecourse is known for thoroughbred horse racing and is located on the north bank of River Teign, just a short distance to the north of Newton Abbot. The oval course is left-handed and covers 1 mile, 1 furlong and has seven fences for the circuit. The distance to the finish is a short run, which makes an easy ride in comparison to others around.

History of the course

The court held its first meeting back in 1866 after a sprawling 91 acres for the course was purchased. The racecourse wasn’t much when it began but was slowly modeled into a standard racecourse and in 1969 the first grandstand was officially opened by the Queen Mother. The inclusion of corporate facilities came later in 1990. The Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase is the most notable event in Newton Abbot’s calendar and never fails to attract crowds.

Greyhound races

Newton Abbot Racecourse used to host greyhound racing after the greyhound track in Kingskerswell was closed down. The track, which had an opening night on May 1974, hosted regular greyhound races until 2005 when the racecourse became fully focused on horse racing. The greyhound track had a grandstand that could be taken apart whenever there were horse races to be held.

Corporate events and hospitality

The course has come a long way since it opened its doors to outside events. The catering is top-class and there are plenty of corporate events held at the venue each year. Aside from horse racing, the venue also hosts other events such as antique fairs and car boot sales.

Sounds of the summer

The annual music festival held on the racecourse will be named Sounds of the Summer this year. The event is going to be headlined by the Grammy nominated UB40. The group, renowned for hits like Red wine, Food for thought and Cherry Oh baby will headline the event, which is set to have plenty of surprises for reggae fans.

With a race calendar running from March to October, the racecourse is always a buzz with activity. The splendid hospitality facilities have also made it a go to for all kinds of private functions.

Newcastle

Newcastle is a dual-race type course located in Gosforth Park within the City of Newcastle, North East England. It is owned by the Arena Racing Company, with races televised on At The Races.

History

Horse racing in the area has been existent for roughly three-and-a-half centuries, with King George II among the premieres to show interest in and support competitions. After periods of shifting, races finally found a home at the current location in 1882, when the Northumberland plate was first run here. The new course had some amazing facilities by the standards of that time, with flat and chase tracks, a grandstand and 100 horse stables.

More recent history was made at the turn of the 21st Century, when the ascendancy of David Williamson, a Scottish businessman, to the post of managing director saw the turnover rise steadily from £2.5m to £2.5m in six years.

A new upgrade between 2013 and 2016 saw the introduction of an all-weather flat racing track which was first used in May 2016.

The course

The course assumes a figure 9 shape, with two sharp turnings and one other which is much gentler. There are tracks for both National Hunt and flat racing. It sits on 805 acres of land, on which the Golf Clubs of Northumberland and Parklands, a scout camp and a nature reserve have been developed.

Newcastle airport is six miles away for huge plane landing. Helicopter landing can be arranged in advance with the course management.

 

Races

Newcastle hosts 30 race meetings in its annual calendar. Racing begins in spring and runs all through to December. The most notable race run here is the Northumberland Plate run in June. There are day and night events hosted at Newcastle. The Eider Chase, Fighting Fifth Hurdle and Chipchase Stakes are also key events on the course’s list of fixtures.

The BeeswingStakes and the Seaton Delaval Stakes were traditional races held here but were discontinued in 1999 and 1985 respectively.

Newbury

Newbury Racecourse is a dual-race type track located in Greenham, next to the town of Newbury in the county of Berkshire, England. It is a high-quality-facility course owned by Newbury Racecourse Company whose races are televised on Racing UK.

History

Racing activities in Newbury were active since the early 19th Century, when 1805 race Newbury Races was recorded at Enborne Heath.

The current course staged its first race in September 1905. Copper King was the winner of the inaugural Whatcombe Handicap.

The jump races came soon after, in 1906, when the course hosted nine days of flat and jump racing.

Building the course was the proposal of trainer John Porter, which was rejected several times by the Jockey Club until a chance meeting gave him the opportunity to seek King Edward VII’s support for the approval. The Jockey Club did approve the plan when the King asked, and at that time the Newbury Racecourses was born.

Porter’s Zelis won the Regulation Plate in September 1905, and the visionary trainer announced his retirement immediately after. Racing took a break during the War when the facility was used to hold prisoners of war from the German faction.

A 2011 occurrence that led to the sudden death of two horses at the course painted it in a bad light. Postmorterm analysis pointed to electrocution that caused heart attacks.

The course

The course is oval with and undulating landscape and some tough bends which call for a combination of skill and power to manoeuvre.

There is a train station located within the racecourse, making rail the most convenient way to access the several times Most Prestigious Racecourse.

Races

Up to 32 races are held at Newburyeach year, with the purse total often coming to in excess of £2,000,000. The Greatwood Gold Cup, the Winter Bumper, Betfair Hurdle and the Hennesy Gold Cup are some of the headline races within the jumps. The Greenham Stakes, John Porter Stakes, Harkwood Stakes, Arc Trial and the World Trophy stand out in the flat category.

Musselburgh

MusselburghMusselburgh racecourse is located in the East Lothian council area of Scotland, six miles from the capital Edinburgh. It is a dual-race type track widely acclaimed for its stylish nature, and has races televised on Racing UK. It sits on Common good land, and is run by the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee (MJRC), a partnership between the East Lothian Council and the Lothians Racing Syndicate.

History

Racing began in 1777 at the Musselburgh, and continued until 1789 when most competitions were moved to Leith. The races made a permanent return to Musselburgh in 1816.

It was under the Lothians Racing Syndicate for the years after World War II, but was adversely affected by betting legislation and continued posting losses late into the 1980s. The local council took over its running in 1991, and brought it back to profit making within a year before establishing a new partnership with the syndicate.

The course underwent a £7.5 million upgrade in 1995, improving both viewing areas and the racing track.

The course

The course is pretty flat, with tracks for both flat and national hunt competitions. It has gentle turns in the starting sections and much more challenging bends towards the end. There are 12 obstacles in the jump circuit.

Within it lies a nine-hole golf course. The course is notable for elegance, be it in service, signposting or equipment design.

Musselburgh is accessible through a road bridge over the Esk, but this is only open on race days.

It has held the honour of 5-star Visitor attraction from Scotland’s national tourism organisation visit Scotland since 2006. In 2011, Musselburgh beat Ascot to win the Dual Purpose Award in the Neil Wyatt Racecourse Groundstaff Awards.

Races

The William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup and the Royal Mile Handicap are the two most notable races run within the track. The Edinburgh Cup, Caledonian Cup Raceday, Stobo Castle Ladies and Easter Saturday are also part on Musselburgh’s calendar, which totals roughly 28 fixtures within the year.

Market Rasen

market rasenMarket Rasen is situated at Market Rasen town in the Lincolnshire County of East England. It is a jump-type racecourse owned and run by the Jockey Club Racecourse.

History

Races in the town were run on different sites between 1828 and 1924, when they were moved to the current course. It was funded by four locals who raised funds to acquire the 50-acre property for a permanent site to avoid the perennial shifting.

A 2008 earthquake did affect the racecourse, but only minor renovations were required and no races were cancelled.

 

The course

Market Rasen is a right handed track, left handed over a length of 1  mile. It hosts National hunt races only, which run throughout the year despite the race type being associated with winter seasons. A point-to-point race formerly held in the left handed track was discontinued and the track is no longer used.

The course is famed for its family activity atmosphere. Children up to the age of ten are allowed free entry so long as they are accompanied by an adult. Group booking allows visitors to enjoy lower ticket prices, but the offer is in high demand and often requires early reservation.

Road and air access are the most convenient ways to get to market Rasen. Note that the market does charge a parking fee, which is waived for disabled racegoers. Air access can be made in three ways: landing by helicopter at the course with prior management approval, 5 miles off Wickenby Airfield landing for fixed-wing planes or Humberside Airport, 20 miles away, for larger planes.

Races

The Summer Plate is market Rasen’s foremost headline race. It is usually run on the third Saturday of July, the run-up to which creates a palpable buzz within the town. The Summer Hurdle is also held during this meeting. The Prelude Handicap Chase is also a popular race among the track’s loyal race goers.

Ludlow Racecourse

Ludlow Racecourse is located within the market town of Ludlow in Shropshire County, West Midlands, England. It is a National Hunt course owned by the Ludlow Race Club Ltd, with meetings televised on Racing UK.

History

Racing records at Ludlow date back to August 1729, although popular legend claims that that soldiers did come here in the fourteenth century to match their horses’ and practice archery. It set out as a flat race type course, with the track used for flat races back then still existent to date. Hurdles were introduced at the course in phases over the 19th Century, and it eventually departed from flat racing and adopted the more challenging and more popular jump races.

Course

Ludlow has two tracks, one for jump races and another for chase competitions. The chase circuit is one mile four furlongs in length, with an almost square shape that has sharp bends at every turn. The hurdles circuit is of the same shape, but is more undulating and has much more friendlier bends.

There is an 18-hole 70-par golf course within the race tracks, existing since 1889. A major road- B4365- cuts through the track at three points, and normally traffic is stopped when races are in progress.

Upgrades have been made over the last few years to both the track and viewing areas, most notable the restaurant areas which make the place more attractive for the social racegoer.

Access is best by road or rail. There is a free bus service from the nearby train station, while road access takes the A49 for the two miles to the North of Ludlow town. Helicopter landing can also be arranged in advance with the course management.

Races

There are 16 races per year, spread across two periods per year in January to May and October to December. Most races are mid-week fixtures named after sponsors who pay for the honour.