Cartmel Racecourse is a jumps-race track located in the countryside village by the same name in Cumbria County, England. It is considered a small course, but races are still televised on Racing UK. It is owned by Lord Cavendis, who acquired it in 1998.
The track has been galloped by racehorses since 1856 according to records, but stories of horse racing stretch further back. Landowners from the vllage were the main source of funding for the small course, which did not adopt professional racing until after the second World War.
The track was caught up in an attempted fraud scandal in 1974, when trainer Antony Collins produced a weak version of the horse ‘Gay Future’in order to get beter odds from bookmakers. The scandal was later adopted into the movie ‘Murphy’s Stroke’in 1979.
The course’s shape is a unique oval, with gentle bends on one side that make it appear more like a soft-edge rectangle. The other end of the oval skews to one side, such that one bend is sharp and the other is absolutely smooth- no need for slowing down as a horse navigates.
The finishing straight then cuts across the oval, joining its two long arms.
Cartmel enjoys a rich race going culture, with around 20,000 spectators arriving on some race days. This puts it third in the list of attendance at jump courses in Britain, only behind Cheltenham and Aintree, home of the Grand National. It maintains a culture of letting people have fun besides horse racing, sometimes with a break between three days of racing for people to visit the country. The allowing of cars to drive right into the middle of the course and choose spots from which to catch races is a popular move, as is the permission to set up bbqs.
There are seven race days in the Cartmel calendar, with the Bank Holidays of August proving to be by far the most popular. The most memorable horse on the track is Soul magic, who has won here seven times before 2014.