Exeter

Exeter is a venue for thoroughbred horse racing located near Exeter, Devon, England. It is locally called Haldon Racecourse from its location which is at the peaks of the Haldon Hills.

Location

The Exeter Course is located on the Haldon Hills. Initially, the course was described as “the two-mile fine oval course” before an additional one-mile course was created, stretching the length of the property to three miles. This was in the 1850s. At Exeter, one lap includes one water jump and several fences, some of which are dry ditches.

History

Due to Charles II’s love for the sport, Exeter is one of the several creations that came to be. In 1750, after the formation Jockey Club, rules governing horse races were standardised. In 2005, the Cheltenham Cup’s three times winner, Best Mate passed out and died after his jockey pulled up at the Exeter tracks. It is suspected that the course of his death was a heart attack.

By 2006, Haldon, Anstey, and Brockman were the main stands of the racecourse. Princess Royal, Anne opened the Haldon stand in 2004, while Lord Wyatt opened the Anstey in 1986. The perfect drainage and galloping nature of the course makes Exeter a public venue for novice chasers.

Controversy

In 1833, Peter Hennis and John Jeffcott shot at each other over Hennis spreading rumours that Jeffcott had been cheating during a previous race at the venue. Hennis was wounded in the exchange and succumbed a week later; Jeffcott went into hiding in Sierra Leone. This was the last duel of that kind at the Exeter Racecourse.

 

Notable races

.The Gold Cup race which took place in 1807 where Charles Somerset’s won.

.Select races focusing on three-year-old thoroughbreds that had their origin in the West Country.

.Gold William Hill Cup Chase which was formerly known as the Gold HaldonCup. This race is usually held in November.

.Charity races in the course include Clydesdale Horses Jockey Riding, courtesy of Devon Ambulance Services in 2013 and 2014 the Dartmoor Ponies with the help of Research Cancer UK.

Epsom Downs

This flat racetrack is so named due to some sections of it being part of the North Downs hills that extend from Surrey to Kent. It is located in the market town of Epsom in Surrey County, about 14 miles South West of the capital London. It is owned and operated by the Jockey Club Racecourses, and is widely known as the home to The Epsom Derby race.

History

Relative documents show the track to have been in existence in the first quarter of the 17th Century, tough the officially documented inaugural race was in 1661. It has always been a flat course, but has undergone many adjustments over the years both on the track and the viewing areas. The most recent upgrade was the 2009 Duchess Stand, which accommodates 11,000 patrons and is estimated to have cost around £23.5 million.

Course

The track is all flat, but is a good challenge for young inexperienced horses who are just setting out in their careers. It also serves as a stamina-building course for experienced horses seeking a return to their best. Both purposes are properly suited since the Epsom-extending all the way to Langley vale- is also home to 11 training camps. (the third largest training base in England)

Races

The Derby, a Group 1 race for three-year-old horses, descends on the Epsom Downss every first Saturday of June as competitors chase the best share of a purse worth over a million pounds. So common has this race become at the Downs, it is now widely regarded as the Epsom Derby.

The derby is run on a distance of 2423 meters, and is arguably the most watched race in England. The Oaks and The Coronation Cup are also held here on some occasions.

Part of the popularity of Epsom races arises from the course being in a public area, which makes watching races in the 130,000 capacity course free.

Eclipse from the late 1760s is probably the oldest of great horses to have trotted The Epson, where he remained unbeaten in an entire career.

Doncaster

doncasterDoncaster Racecourse lies within the market town of Doncaster in the county of South Yorkshire, North England. It is owned by the Arena Leisure Plc, and is commonly referred to as the Town Moor Course. It is a dual-race type left handed racing course.

History

Doncaster has a long and rich horse racing history, with regular race meetings recorded as far back as the 15th Century. The popularity of the races kept growing such that by 1600 it had become a ruffian attraction center. There were plans to end racing due to the infiltration of the violent characters, but the events proved to have rooted themselves too deep, and a racecourse was marked out in 1614 to solve the crisis.

Some of the oldest races that run to date- the St. Leger Stakes and the Doncaster Cup- began at this track. The Doncaster cup is the oldest regulated horse race of all races that are still existent worldwide, while the St. Leger Stakes is the world’s oldest classic.

The course

Owners describe the course as pear-shaped. It is a largely flat area, which is around 1 mile and 7 furlongs in distance. It is modelled for both flat and National Hunt competition. The gentle gradient of the track makes it a fair track for all categories of all categories, be it budding two-year-olds or aging five-year-olds.

It is an easily accessible area by road or rail, making it a popular destination among racegoers.

Races

Two of Britain’s 31 Grade 1 races- The St. Leger Stakes and The Racing Post Trophy- are run at The Doncaster in September and October. Jump races at each end of a calendar year sandwich the flat competitions.

Jump races held here include the Great Yorkshire Chase and the Summit Juvenile Hurdle. Flat competitions include the Cammidge Trophy, Park Hill Stakes and the highly regarded Sceptre Stakes as well.