Salisbury racecourse is a flat-type race track located in Salisbury cathedral city within Wiltshire County, South East England. Action at the course which scenically overlooks the Wiltshire countryside is televised on Racing UK.
Salisbury is one of the oldest existing courses throughout the UK. With competition happening on the course since the 16th Century. The King’s Plate in 1723 is the first of big races recorded at the course. It was awarded by King George I.
The course holds several notable stats in the history of horseracing. In 1948, jockey Lesley Piggot made his first public appearance here, aged just twelve and weighing just five stone. In 1949, Winston Churchill, prior to his second stint as UK premier, rode his horse Colonist II to victory in the 1-mile Upavon Stakes here.
The track is a long undulating stretch, with a little arc loop on its side to appear like a letter ‘P’ with the loop sagged. It is largely flat on the starting stage, with a punishing seven-furlong uphill finish.
Race-goers under the age of sixteen are admitted free if accompanied by an adult, and car parking is also free. Access to the course is made easy by the clear signposting on the A3094 for the 3.5 mile distance south-west of Salisbury town. The course is three miles from Salisbury train station, with a bus service operating the distance. Air landing can be via Bournemouth or Southampton, both under 30 miles away.
There are around sixteen race days at Salisbury in a year, taking place between May and October. All race days are run by thoroughbred horses, except one set aside for Arabian horses. Handicaps form the majority of races run. The Upavon Fillies’ Stakes is arguably the most popular race. The Cathedral Stakes, Sovereign Stakes, Stonehenge Stakes and Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes are also fan favorites.
Big-name horses have run here throughout the history of racing. Eclipse and Gimcrack from the 18th century are still famed to date. Sun Chariot and Brigadier Gerard were the talk of the 20th century, while Sir Percy and Look Here have already booked places in the 21st Century